Fort Stewart News

Spc. Rodney Lloyd sets-up to sprint one lap as part of his sprint regiment July 25 at Fort Stewart as he prepares for the Army 10-miler competition Oct. 8 in Washington D.C.

Photo by Spc. Ryan Tatum

Fort Stewart journey to the Army 10-miler competition
Spc. Ryan Tatum,
50th PAD
Friday, August 4, 2017

‘On your mark, get ready, go,’ were the words used to start the Fort Stewart Army 10-miler qualifier. Contestants competed to represent Fort Stewart in the upcoming Army 10-miler Oct. 8, to represent Fort Stewart in the best team category.

As the racers take off, being dusted by the top competitors the underdog with much heart showed his lethal canines in the race.

Specialist Rodney Lloyd, a human resource specialist for Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 3rd Infantry Division Artillery, began to fulfill his dream with the qualifier race.

“The race started with me losing; I was not the top competitor,” said Lloyd. “Seven miles into the race I caught up to the first place competitor.”

Lloyd had only been in DIVARTY for seven months and during that time he had to overcome obstacles to pursue his dreams.

Warrant Officer Regina Crump, a human resources technician for DIVARTY, mentored Lloyd about his dreams.

“When I first met Lloyd he reminded me a lot of myself when I was a private first class,” Crump said. “Lloyd is a great runner, so when I saw the flyer for the Army 10-miler, I immediately thought of him. He has a gift and I decided to help and support his goals.”

After getting the green light to participate in the qualifier race, Lloyd only had one month to prepare conditioning his mind, body and spirit for the test.

“I split my training to two workout regiments,” Lloyd said. “The first session worked on my sprints where I do one lap on the track to make it under a minute taking a 30 second break to repeat the process to build up my lungs.”

“The second workout is running five-miles with the goal to finish in 27 minutes to build the endurance in my legs,” Lloyd said.

Not once did he falter in his workout because he was doing it not just to accomplish his goals but something more intimate, Lloyd said.

“The pain I felt while working out was nothing because in my mind I could hear my mother’s voice saying ‘You got this, baby,’ and ‘You can do it,’” Lloyd said. “All I could think about was the pain she endured while taking care of me growing up in Chicago. So, my biggest motivator is my mother and wife to hear them say I’m proud of you.”

At the seven-mile mark, this dog-faced Soldier met up with the first place competitor and realized in the moment that he had the intestinal fortitude to go all the way to the finish line. Lloyd began open his stride even wider seeing the clock in the distance knowing he was going to blow past his competitor, Lloyd said.

“When I crossed the finish line it didn’t register until five minutes after my runner’s high came down,” Lloyd said. “It wasn’t until I took a knee, and couple of tears fell did I realize that I came in first and emotions washed over me like a sea.”

As the qualifier came to a close, the top eight runners who made the team Stewart were announced. Though the preliminary round is over, the main event is two months away and the pressure is on to be the best team.

“People are always coming for you giving their all, so I respond by giving them my all,” Lloyd said.