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Duluth native qualifies for prestigious Army 10-Miler run at the Pentagon

Retired Sgt. Maj. Brandon C. Gangstad, a Duluth native, ran the annual Commanders Cup 10-Miler qualifier on June 20 at Fort Bliss, Texas. The race determines qualifiers for the base team representing Fort Bliss at the prestigious Army 10-Miler on...

Retired Sgt. Maj. Brandon C. Gangstad, a Duluth native, ran the annual Commanders Cup 10-Miler qualifier on June 20 at Fort Bliss, Texas. The race determines qualifiers for the base team representing Fort Bliss at the prestigious Army 10-Miler on Oct. 12 at the Pentagon.
Gangstad had good reason to run. He is the team trainer for Fort Bliss.
“I like coaching the team because it’s a challenge,” Gangstad said. “It’s also another venue to help young soldiers focus their energy and show their potential.
“The Army has a structured physical readiness program, but many of the young soldiers just don’t understand what that means. It’s not just about running. It’s about strength, fitness, stretching and mentality. It’s a great experience for them.”
Gangstad is also troop schools manager in Fort Bliss.
More than 200 competitors ran the 10-Miler and all of them completed it in less than three hours. First-place finisher Spc. Japeth Ng’ojoy, a medical laboratory technician assigned to William Beaumont Medical Center, completed the race in less than 55 minutes.
“There are soldiers out there who are young, fit and healthy, but they don’t push themselves to be the best they can,” Ng’ojoy said. “Competitions like this one teach you to understand what you’re capable of, and that surprises some soldiers. They didn’t believe they could run 10 miles.”

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