Kentucky Guardsmen run for the roses

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Story by Capt. Andi Hahn, 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade Public Affairs Officer

Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Charles Newton, 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade Public Affairs

Kentucky Guardsmen from the 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade show off their Kentucky Derby marathon medals. Pictured from left to right are: Maj. Edwin Cooke, Capt. April Gustafson, Capt. Jonathon Weseley, Capt. Andi Hahn, Maj. Allen Snyder and 1st Lt. Geremy Harper.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — As if deploying to a war zone wasn’t exciting enough, eight Kentucky Army National Guard Soldiers decided to make a “run for the roses” before deploying to Iraq.

The Kentucky Derby’s 10th annual marathon and 38th annual mini-marathon took place on April 30 as part of the pre-Derby activities for the city of Louisville, home of the world famous Kentucky Derby. The full course race, 26.2 miles, had over 1,500 people crossing the finish line. The mini-marathon, 13.1 miles, ended with nearly 12,000 finishing.  More than 15,000 runners from throughout the region competed in this event.

Maj. Allen Snyder, Maj. Edwin Cooke, Capt. Josh Futtrell and Capt. Jonathon Weseley ran in the full marathon while Capt. April Gustafson, Capt. Andi Hahn, 1st Lt. Geremy Harper and Chief Warrant Officer Robert Pena ran in the mini-marathon.

The Soldiers are all assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade.

“Part of the reason for participating together was to maintain unit cohesion,” said Snyder.  “But at the same time, it allowed us an opportunity for our families to mingle in an atmosphere other than military.”

According to Snyder this was one of the last fun events the Soldiers got to participate in while preparing to mobilize this weekend.  The 149th MEB will deploy later this summer. Their departure ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, June 4 at 4 p.m. at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Ky.

Friends and Family are welcome to attend.

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