Charleston, W.Va. --
Capt. Jeffrey Schroer, a flight nurse, assigned to the 130th Airlift Wing’s 167th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron based at McLaughlin Air National Guard Base, Charleston, West Virginia, competed in the 23rd Annual Air Force (AF) Marathon held Sept. 21, 2019, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.
Schroer competed for the Air National Guard team, which took home first place in the event. This was Schroer’s eighth AF Marathon overall.
“I had competed on the Air Combat Command team twice when I was active duty,” Schroer said. “This was my first time out as a runner for the ANG Team.”
More than 12,700 runners and 29,600 volunteers from 11 major commands, 50 states, and 15 countries participated in the event. The results for the team times were an accumulation of individual times, with the fastest total time awarded the trophy.
The ANG team finished with a time of 23:00:27, Air Force Reserve Command finished second with a time of 23:02:14, while Air Mobility Command earned third place with a time of 23:48:53.
“Some of the members of this year’s team were return runners from previous years,” he said. “Talking to the team before our arrival, I knew we were well prepared and supported each other with advice and information.”
He continued to laud the performance of his teammates.
“We had great performances across-the-board as evidenced by our win,” said Schroer. “Hopefully I’ll get to run with this team again in the future, they were great people and the race was a blast!”
Individually, Schroer finished 37th overall with a time of 1:26:24, setting his pace at just under seven minutes per mile.
Any member of the ANG in good standing can apply to be a member of the team by submitting their top three times from a sanctioned race. The fastest applicants are selected for the team.
For Schroer, being part of the race is something that he doesn’t take for granted.
“It’s always a great experience, from the aircraft flyover at the start, the military representation, and the great course,” he said. “Being selected for the team just sets the experience at an even higher level.”
Running has been a passion of his for the last 20 years.
“I started running when I was in middle school and have been hooked on it ever since,” Schroer explained. “I ran all four years of both high school and college. I still compete in many local 5Ks, 10Ks, half-marathons, and full marathons.”
He explained that the number one reason he runs is that it makes him feel great all around.
“Running has many benefits from health, stress relief, friendship, and competitiveness,” he said.
When asked if he had any advice for his fellow Airmen struggling with running, he suggested to start slow and build up to your desired fitness level.
“Don’t overwhelm or discourage yourself by setting initial high goals,” he explained. “Set a fitness schedule and adhere to it as much as possible. Finding a friend with similar fitness goals can be helpful as well to hold each other accountable.”