Events

June 28, 2013

Airmen inspired to run marathon

Airman 1st Class Mary Mullins, 607th Air Control Squadron surveillance technician and Airman 1st Class Kristina Sanford, 607th ACS radio frequency transmissions systems technician, pause Feb. 17 after crossing the finish line at the Arizona Integrated Medical Services half marathon in Glendale. The Arizona IMS half marathon began in Surprise and ended at the University of Phoenix stadium.

She was never a runner, and when she did run, it was during mandatory physical training sessions. One day someone challenged and inspired her to run more than she ever imagined.

The moment Airman 1st Class Kristina Sanford, 607th Air Control Squadron radio frequency transmissions systems technician, crossed the finish line at the OC Marathon, in Orange County, Calif., thoughts of what got her there began passing through her mind.

It all started last October when Lt. Col. Sean Slaughter, 607th ACS commander, announced his challenge to the 607th ACS Airmen to run the Arizona Integrated Medical Services half marathon.

“When I heard about the half marathon I knew it was something I wanted to do,” Sanford said. “I wanted to be one of the few who accomplished something so physically demanding.”

Initially there were about 20 out of 150 Airmen interested, but in the end only 14 committed to going through with the training.

“I provided the Airmen with a training plan, which outlined daily running mileage along with other workouts that build strength and speed,” Slaughter said. “I also gave them academics on hydration, nutrition and correct equipment to use while running long distance.”

For Sanford, having the training schedule helped her keep her goals in sight. She worked around her work schedule to make time to run five days a week, resting Mondays and Fridays. Her runs ranged from six to 12 miles depending on where she was in the training.

“It was nice because my roommate trained with me the whole time,” Sanford said. “We kept each other accountable and stuck with what Lt. Col. Slaughter taught us.”

After months of hard work and dedication, Sanford was ready for the half marathon that began in Surprise and ended at the University of Phoenix Stadium.

“When I began running I was nervous, but I just kept telling myself that I have to prove to myself and to others in my squadron that I can do this,” she said.

Though it was the longest run she had ever endured, she finished the run in 2 hours and 12 minutes.

Following the IMS half marathon, Sanford gained a new perspective on running. Before, she would despise even the sheer thought of running, but now she embraced it.

“Once I finished the half marathon I knew if I could do that I could complete a full marathon,” she said. “It also helped that I had a commander who believed in me and made the time to educate us on what we had to do to accomplish a marathon whether it be a half or full marathon.”

Sanford began training for the OC marathon. She used the same concept she had learned from Slaughter, only having to double the amount of miles ran per day. Some days were longer than others and depending on the day her runs varied from 12 to 22 miles.

“I remember running four hours straight on a perimeter road for 22 miles,” she said. “It was painful, but I knew it would be worth it once I completed the marathon.”

Though the journey was hard fought, Sanford proudly completed her first full marathon May 5 finishing in four hours and 40 minutes.

“I remember keeping a steady pace and reiterating the words, ‘I can do this,’” she said. “I’m proud to say that I have that much mental determination to keep going and finish what I started.”

Sanford’s commander and mentor cannot be any prouder.

“I am impressed and extremely proud of her,” Slaughter said. “I’m happy that I helped spark her movement to want to run, and I know that it doesn’t just end here. This is going to be a lifelong journey for her.”

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Tech. Sgt. Timothy Boyer

Construction plan supports F-35 program

Tech. Sgt. Timothy Boyer An Australian F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter prepares to launch Aug. 25 at Luke Air Force Base. Luke is scheduled to have 144 F-35s by 2024 with 11 countries training pilots and maintainers here...
 
 
frana_g

The Psychology of Leadership

Lt. Col. Gregory Frana When given the opportunity to lead, how do great leaders ensure people want to follow them? In the military it is sometimes the case that followers simply have to follow, but what makes people “want” ...
 
 

Refuse to fear change

Are you afraid of change? Most people are. Every day we experience change in our lives, and we certainly can’t hide from it. We learn and grow from changes; that’s what makes the world go around. With all of the Air Force and day-to-day life changes, learning to deal with change must be one of...
 

 
3_150818-F-LC301-007

Munition flight’s isolation strengthens unit

Senior Airman Christopher Bolling, 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron Munitions Flight precision guided missiles bay chief, and Eddie Hutton, 56th EMS Munitions Flight crew member, work on an air-to-air missile. The munitions ...
 
 

IN BRIEF

Stand up for vets The 3rd Annual Stand Up For Veterans event is 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 26 at the Glendale Community College Student Union. There will be employment opportunities, social services, legal services, free hair cuts for veterans, free lunch for vets and their families, and more. Vets can apply for healthcare and...
 
 
4_150810-F-LC301-003

Reservist lends hand

Master Sgt. Steven Joubert, 944th Detachment 1, is the first Air Reserve aircrew chief to hold a position within the 309th Aircraft Maintenance Unit since 2007 when the 944th Fighter Wing underwent changes in the base realignme...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>