By Marcus Hill | Peterson-Schriever Garrison Public Affairs
SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — The 50th Force Support Squadron held its 15th annual half marathon Oct. 2 with nearly 40 runners competing in the event.
Jason Brosseau, 26th Space Aggressors Squadron, won his third consecutive half marathon and clocked in at 1 hour, 25 minutes and 37 seconds, besting 39 other competitors. Gail Smicklas, Schriever Air Force Base inspector general, earned first among the women at 2:17:11.
Brosseau returned to Colorado Springs Sept. 29 from a temporary duty assignment in Hawaii and won the race despite not training for two weeks due to the state’s COVID-19 lockdown.
“If I was going to lose, this would have been the year,” he said. “I was in a hotel room and all meals were delivered and I wasn’t able to run. There was definitely a handicap going into the race.”
The 13.1 mile-event took competitors around the base’s perimeter and for half the race, the top four runners remained in close proximity. Despite the 50th FSS providing four hydration stations throughout the course, the quartet declined to use them.
“We all know the story — the top three get [gift cards], so you don’t want to be the person who stops to get water,” Brosseau said. “It becomes a war of attrition on who can last longer and not take that pause. Those seconds could be crucial and that could have been the difference between making or breaking your race.”
Shortly after the 6-mile mark, Brosseau and Joseph Craig, 4th Space Operations Squadron, separated from the group but neither runner could shake the other.
It wasn’t until the final 2 miles of the race Brosseau pulled away from Craig and maintained his pace to secure his third consecutive win nearly a minute ahead of Craig.
“For the last mile, if you do your job right and you pick the right spot to make your move, you can coast that last half mile or mile,” Brosseau said. “I used the last half mile to relax and take in the victory.”
For the women, Smicklas, who also won the women’s dry triathlon Sept. 25, said she took it easy leading up to the event.
“I didn’t run too much and I did a lot of walking and riding my bike,” she said. “I did the foam roller on my legs to relax my muscles and prepare for the half [marathon].”
Smicklas wasn’t nervous about the event until she drove to Schriever the morning of the race. Those nerves, however, disappeared shortly after the event began and she hit her stride.
The trail didn’t cause Smicklas much trouble until around the ninth mile when she faced a literal uphill battle.
“There was a long, upward hill and it felt like it was never ending,” Smicklas said. “It was kind of windy and there was nobody around and it felt lonely. But I knew the race was almost over and that’s what got me through it.”
The next 50th FSS event is the Turkey Trot, which begins at 3 p.m. Nov. 20. No registration is required for the 2.5-mile race.