Going the Distance: A Royal Navy Veteran’s Army 10-Miler Race

By Greencastle Consulting

We have team members from all branches of military service—including the Royal Navy! And this particular Royal Navy veteran recently ran the Army 10 Miler in Washington, DC.

Martin Densham is no stranger to racing and he finished his first 10 Miler in 1 hour and 11 minutes! With over 17,500 people running in the race and cheering crowds lining the roads the race atmosphere was unlike any other. What could be better than a running tour of the nation’s capital with thousands of other veterans?

Continue reading to learn about Martin’s race experience and his motivation to run the race. You may even find yourself signing up for next year’s race!

Tell us about the race!

If you’re new to running or haven’t run for a while, like me, I would highly recommend the Army Ten Miler. Held annually, this event is incredibly well organized, as you would imagine, and takes place in an inspiring city – Washington DC. The route takes you past landmark after landmark. You start at the Pentagon, run alongside Arlington Cemetery, past the USMC Memorial, then cross the Potomac over the Francis Scott Memorial Bridge. Next you then loop behind the Lincoln Memorial and along Independence Avenue, before heading over the river again via the 14th Street Bridge to the finish line at the Pentagon. This year 17,500 people took part, and both the race Expo and pre-race events ran seamlessly. There were plenty of porta-potties, garment checking sections, and lots of free snacks to replenish your tired body with afterwards (thanks to sponsors KBR)!

Was this your first time running the 10 Miler? How did you do?

This was my first time running a 10 Miler and I came 879th, with a time of 1hr 11mins. This being my first race made it my Personal Best by default but averaging a 7.06min / mile pace was a great feeling, especially as I’m on the other side of 50!

What other races have you done?

Over the years I’ve taken part in half-marathons and sprint-triathlons. My philosophy is to always be doing something, whether training for an event, or an expedition, whatever interests you, but try to have a headmark. It makes getting the track suit on a lot easier!

What was the hardest part of the race? Most rewarding part?

Getting out of bed at 0530 to get to the start line was not my first choice on a Sunday morning after a healthy tailgate at the Navy football the day before! For me the race itself, physically, was the most rewarding part. There were clear skies with mild temperatures, and I could put my one month of training into full use. We had an awesome group of participants and there were plenty of supporters along the way to cheer us on.

Is exercise an important part of your life?

Exercise is a very important part of my life, even if it’s rigorous yardwork, or working on the house when life’s too busy to race. Obviously, there are plenty of physical health benefits, but being outdoors, engaging in your environment, and meeting other people is fun and helps place balance back into your life.

Any lessons learned from this experience?

Until five weeks ago I had no plan to do this race, then a friend who recently deployed asked if I would do it with him (he’ll do it virtually in Kuwait). That was what led me down the path to this great experience. So, open your mind to good suggestions and encouragement from others!

Have you signed up for any future races?

Once my legs stop aching I will!