SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. – A team of eight runners from U.S. Transportation Command, Air Mobility Command, 375th Air Mobility Wing and the metro-east competed in the 80-mile, Illinois River to River Relay April 21, and finished with a time of 10:47:47.
Members of the Road Warriors Air Mobility Flying Feet team ran in the event, commonly referred to as R2R. The course starts on the Mississippi River side of Illinois and ends in the village of Golconda on the Illinois side of the Ohio River.
“If you plan on running across the state of Illinois, be thankful it is skinny on the bottom,” said Randal “Moose” Nelson, team member. “The Flying Feet have been fortunate to be a part of the R2R for over a decade. Entry into the race is limited to 250 teams, so as you can imagine, when registration opens the real race begins.”
According the Nelson, team captain Brian Trout logged onto the race entry site the second registration began, assuring a spot for the team.
The team consisted of Trout and Tony Nicholson, AMC, Nelson and Adlai Breger, USTRANSCOM, Frank Jones, 375th AMW, and Air Force retirees Bob Dizes, Mark Adkins and Chet Haines.
According to Nelson, each runner completed three legs of the course, ranging from 2.5 to 4 miles each leg.
“With ideal running weather, the team ran faster than predicted for each leg of the relay,” Nelson said. “Each leg is about the equivalent of running a 5K race at your fastest pace. Team members finished their legs giving an all out push adding to the excitement that grew with every handoff of the baton.”
While a great deal of Illinois is nearly level, there is a bit of challenging topography for runners.
“Now I know you are thinking it is easy to run all out since Illinois is flat,” Nelson said. “I’m here to tell you every hill in Illinois happens to be on the R2R route. And Nicholson knows it better than anyone. Since he is the youngest on the team, he was selected to run this leg of the relay, leg 6.
“The third section of leg 6 is a 2.5 mile uphill battle with an elevation gain of 390 feet,” Nelson continued. “Nicholson owned the hill as he overtook two teams on his way to hand the baton to Breger.”
Church bells in Golconda echoed in the distance as Road Warrior Dizes, rounded the corner on the final stretch, and was joined by the entire team to cross the finish line.
“The team immediately marched up the stairs to the top of the Ohio River levee,” Nelson said, “and snapped a team photo with the state of Kentucky in the background to remember the day.”
According to Nelson, the Road Warriors mission is to keep everyone active and healthy by participating in running, biking, walking, or anything that gets them moving. For more information on the group, contact Brian Trout, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- USTRANSCOM -