14th Air Force Airmen compete increase war fit program

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- 40 meters is a sprint. 3200 meters is a distance race. A marathon, something that two members of the 14th Air Force's Flying Tigers know well, is a grueling test of endurance, preparation and hard work.

Lt. Col. Nevin Taylor, a 14th AF director of component reserves, and Maj. Bill Kennedy, traveled to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to participate in the annual Air Force Marathon.

The two Flying Tigers weren't the only members of Team-V to participate in the Air Force marathon festivities.

"My husband, Capt. Mark Degenhardt of 4th SLS, and I ran the half marathon," said Maj. Vivian Degenhardt, a 30th Operations Group instructor. "He pushed me to compete in the event because it would help me with my overall fitness score."

The marathon is part of Lt. Col. Taylor and Major Kennedy's war-fit program.

"In November I decided to elevate my war fit program," Colonel Taylor said.

Since last November the colonel has participated in many endurance events of marathons, triathlons and a half Ironman race, he said.

The endurance races allow people to be pushed to their limits in a positive manner.

"I like to push myself to keep doing better than previous times," said Colonel Taylor. "I don't compete against other runners; I try to set goals and compete against myself."

"The race was very challenging, but it is very rewarding once you finish and know that you achieved a personal goal," Major Dagenhardt said.

Setting goals allows Airmen to succeed in not only marathons but in all aspects of the mission.

"A person who sets goals will be successful in all aspects of life," said Major Kennedy. "The only person who can set true goals is the individual."

Planning and preparation involved in participating in a marathon has a direct effect on the Air Force mission.

"It is important for senior leadership to take their war fit program seriously," Said Major Kennedy. "Being fit to fight doesn't only make a healthy Airman but also a healthy Air Force."

Participation in an event like a marathon is not limited to people in an upper echelon of fitness.

"One of the reasons I compete is to show people that with training and hard work, anyone can run a marathon," said Colonel Taylor.

Running a marathon is a grueling event that is one way Airmen can mentally and physically prepare for the hardships in a deployed location. Preparation that is vital to complete the Air Force mission.