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Wyoming National Guard marathon team back up running after more than a decade

Wyoming National Guard Airmen and Soldiers assigned to the 153rd Airlift Wing and 960th Brigade Support Battalion pose on the University of Nebraska Memorial Stadium field after completing the Lincoln National Guard Marathon, May 3, 2015 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (courstesy photo)

Wyoming National Guard Airmen and Soldiers assigned to the 153rd Airlift Wing and 960th Brigade Support Battalion pose on the University of Nebraska Memorial Stadium field after completing the Lincoln National Guard Marathon, May 3, 2015 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (courstesy photo)

CHEYENNE, Wyoming -- Four Wyoming National Guard members--three Air National Guard, one Army National Guard--represented the state's newly revived marathon team at the 38th annual Lincoln/National Guard Marathon Sunday, May 3, 2015 in Lincoln, Nebraska.

The team was organized in just two short months prior to Lincoln in order for Wyoming to officially count as a state team this year going forward. The late efforts to quickly build a team of available distance runners was challenging, but worth it.

"The Lincoln event is the event for all National Guard runners to attend and serves at the qualifier for the elite All-Guard Team," said Air Force Master Sgt. Leisa Grant, state team captain and public affairs specialist assigned to the 153rd Airlift Wing here. "It was important for Wyoming to be there, even if we were a new team without uniforms and much experience. This is where the motivation and inspiration happens, where you meet other people with a passion for running who you just don't find anywhere else in the Guard."

Most Guard runners show up with hopes of making the All-Guard Team, which consists of the fastest runners from Air and Army Guard units from all states and U.S. territories.

For some, speed throughout the 26.2 mile course is not the most important aspect of going to Lincoln - especially for Wyoming runners, who all said they felt honored to represent Wyoming.

"It was an even greater privilege to be a member with fellow guardsmen from the Wyoming National Guard," said Army Sgt. Derek Smith, a training noncommissioned officer assigned to the 960th Brigade Support Battalion.

The four-person team felt the overall weekend was a success for Wyoming and are excited to move forward with a bigger, better team next for next year's event.

"We succeeded at the individual level because we all individually finished the daunting task of running 26.2 miles," said Smith. "We finished it at the team level because at the end of the day every member of
the Wyoming National Guard Team crossed that finish line."

The Lincoln Track Club has been working in conjunction with the Nebraska National Guard to put on this event for military members and civilians alike for 31 years now.

To learn more about the Wyoming National Guard marathon team or to join the 2015-2016 team please contact Master Sgt. Leisa Grant by email at leisa.l.grant.mil@mail.mil or by phone at 307-772-5025.leisa.l.grant.mil@mail.mil