An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


NEWS | May 3, 2015

Guard pride on display at Colorado Marathon

By Tech. Sgt. Jecca Geffre Colorado National Guard

CENTENNIAL, Colo. – Two Colorado Guardsmen went above and beyond the call of duty to participate in the Colorado Marathon near Fort Collins May 3.

Air Force Maj. Scott Jenkins, an operations officer on the Colorado National Guard's Joint staff, and Army Sgt. 1st Class Brian Benge, a Recruiting and Retention Battalion noncommissioned officer in charge, successfully completed the marathon and proudly represented the Guard and their respective services in the race.

Both Guardsmen are experienced runners; Benge has seven half marathons and four full-distance races under his belt. Jenkins used the marathon as part of his training with the intent to compete in the Leadville 100 in August, a race consisting of extreme terrain at elevations from 9,200 to 12,600 feet spanning 100 miles in the Colorado Rockies.

Similar inspirations drive both of these military leaders to accomplish such impressive feats. Jenkins said he enjoys the challenge.

"It's not very often you can put yourself in the circumstance where you are confronted with your physical limitations," he said. "I like to reach the point where you have to tap into the reserve you didn't know you have."

Benge's devotion to physical fitness and leading by example drives his determination to complete long-distance races. He said as a recruiter, he and his staff are often the first military example the public regularly sees. He puts emphasis on Soldiers' maintaining the physical stamina required to perform in the military, and encourages others to participate in races in the community.

Benge also wore a Bataan Death March Memorial race T-shirt he earned after completing that marathon in high desert terrain at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. He is a big advocate of military heritage and of the importance of taking pride in honoring the heroic service of those who sacrificed so much to defend the Philippines in World War II.

Jenkins said the highlight of the Colorado Marathon was the vibrancy of the community who turned up to cheer on the race participants.

"All the energetic, supportive folks who offered up lots of encouragement," he said. "The course itself was very tidy and the event was well-organized, run by some great people."

"We are so blessed (in Colorado) to be able to walk out the front door and have purple mountains in our view and trails everywhere," continued Jenkins, who frequently enjoys outdoor activities with his wife and five children, all of whom embrace the active lifestyle. His four girls are runners and swimmers and his son –the youngest – participates in wrestling, just like his father did when he attended the Air Force Academy.

"I started out running long distances when I paced my wrestling coach at the academy," Jenkins said.

His coach completed the Leadville 100 after three attempts and Jenkins hopes to do the same, having dropped off at approximately the 60-mile mark in his last two endeavors. His strategy this time? To train for it by putting in more miles – something he hadn't done in past attempts due to recently returning from deployments.

Benge described the majestic views along the Poudre Canyon and the course that runs along the river as some of the best in Colorado, and suggested it would be an ideal environment for anyone considering doing their first marathon.  

Neither participant had any hard-and-fast rules for training; just putting in the time seemed to be the prevailing factor for success in completing a race of this caliber. Their advice is simply to train for it. Both credited hard work, perseverance and an overwhelming sense of accomplishment as contributing to their success.

When asked about the feeling after completing the 26.2 miles, Benge abruptly answered, "Hunger!" Aside from that, "it's the best endorphin high you can get. After running that long, you're spent, but you feel incredible because you've accomplished something."

Jenkins said as a former wrestler, he's not built for running, but setting a goal and working toward it helped him focus. As did his coach's inspiration: mental toughness is a huge testament to the power of the human spirit.

"When you get to the point you think you can't go any more, there's satisfaction in going further," Jenkins said.

November 2022 (5)
October 2022 (2)
September 2022 (7)
August 2022 (5)
July 2022 (3)
June 2022 (7)
May 2022 (3)
April 2022 (4)
March 2022 (3)
February 2022 (4)
January 2022 (5)
December 2021 (7)
November 2021 (3)
October 2021 (2)
September 2021 (2)
August 2021 (6)
July 2021 (4)
June 2021 (1)
May 2021 (5)
April 2021 (5)
March 2021 (5)
February 2021 (2)
January 2021 (3)
December 2020 (3)
November 2020 (7)
October 2020 (6)
September 2020 (6)
August 2020 (8)
July 2020 (9)
June 2020 (7)
May 2020 (10)
April 2020 (9)
March 2020 (2)
February 2020 (4)
January 2020 (5)
December 2019 (6)
November 2019 (2)
October 2019 (8)
September 2019 (4)
August 2019 (7)
July 2019 (5)
June 2019 (2)
May 2019 (6)
April 2019 (9)
March 2019 (2)
February 2019 (2)
January 2019 (3)
December 2018 (4)
November 2018 (6)
October 2018 (2)
September 2018 (3)
August 2018 (9)
July 2018 (1)
June 2018 (1)
May 2018 (1)
April 2018 (5)
October 2017 (1)
May 2017 (1)
April 2017 (2)
March 2017 (2)
February 2017 (3)
January 2017 (1)
November 2016 (1)
October 2016 (2)
September 2016 (5)
August 2016 (3)
July 2016 (4)
May 2016 (2)
April 2016 (3)
March 2016 (1)
February 2016 (4)
January 2016 (1)
December 2015 (1)
November 2015 (3)
October 2015 (3)
September 2015 (2)
August 2015 (1)
July 2015 (1)
June 2015 (2)
May 2015 (3)
March 2015 (1)
February 2015 (1)
October 2014 (1)
September 2014 (1)
June 2014 (1)
April 2014 (1)
May 2013 (1)
April 2013 (4)
March 2013 (8)
February 2013 (9)
January 2013 (7)
November 2012 (1)
April 2012 (2)
January 2012 (1)
March 2010 (1)