FORBES FIELD AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE --
After months of training, seven Kansas National Guard members competed as a team in the Omaha Marathon Sept. 20, 2020, showcasing what Kansas could do against the other 110 National Guard participants.
The team placed 11th out of 48 teams, which earned two runners a chance to represent the All Guard Marathon Team, a separate comprised team of guard members from across the nation to represent the National Guard at select races across the country.
According to Tech. Sgt. Jason Dolan, 190th Air Refueling Wing fitness program manager, the race every year is a great way for the team to build connections and relationships across the country.
“We are building a streamline of connections with members across Air and Army, and sacrificing our time for each other,” he said. “This whole weekend every year is a way to build camaraderie and understand each other more.”
For Dolan, this wasn’t his first time running the marathon. As one of the team’s veterans he has ran the event several years now. Over the years, he has seen the team double in size as well as score better as a team. In the last three years, the team has gone from not placing, to placing 21st last year and then 11th this year.
This year’s team that finished 11th place is made up of Soldiers and Airmen from National Guard units across Kansas. Air National Guard members include Master Sgt. Vincent Casper, 1st Lt. Nick Clair and Tech. Sgt. Dolan and Army National Guard members CPT Hans Stephensen, SPC Jessica Pal, SFC Christopher Wittig and SGT Nick Ledet.
The two members who qualified for the All Guard Marathon Team are Clair who finished with a time of 3 hours 16 minutes and 42 seconds and Pal, who placed first in her age bracket with a time of 4 hours and 45 seconds.
Looking ahead to next year, Dolan and the team have set some goals that they would like to achieve. They would like to improve their team score and shoot for a top three finish, commit more time to training and raise awareness across the KSNG so they can continue to improve and grow.
“We understand that we aren’t going to be doing this forever,” said Dolan. “We want to make sure we highlight the opportunities that this team can bring, and represent the National Guard in a fun way.”