ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Of the 35,000 runners slated to compete in the Army Ten-Miler out in the nation's capital, nine are coming from Albany State University.
And they've been working their tails off in preparation
Before the sun could rise Tuesday morning, the Albany State ROTC warmed up the lower campus.
Nine cadets have been training bi-weekly for the 33rd annual Army run this Sunday in Washington, D.C.
Report time was 5 a.m., which is clockwork to senior cadet Mykeese Day.
"Getting up early isn't new to me, working hard isn't new to me, what's new to me is the distance," said Day during training.
Day, like many of the other cadets is a former cross country runner. But the Army Ten-miler is about four miles longer than what than what they're accustomed to.
Just like in cross country, the group unifies as a team to push each other past their limits.
"Having a great team to back you up like the one we have here is that last bit of energy inside you to push you through that comes with the motivation," said senior cadet Robert Douglas.
"You feel good about yourself. Nobody's doing this. Nobody's challenging themselves like that," said Day.
When the cadets aren't enough, insert their head coach, Major Thomas Smith
He's led the trainings and will be with them every step of the way when they fly north Friday morning.
"Some are a little bit apprehensive about doing it," admitted Major Smith. "Once they get out there and you can see the look on their face, being proud of themselves and patting themselves on the back because of their accomplishment."
The race will begin Sunday morning at 8 a.m. from the Pentagon. The cadets will be in D.C. all weekend and are also looking forward to exploring historic area,
"(I'm looking forward to) Learning a little bit more about the Army history and background and visiting some of the places that I've never gotten to see dealing with the army," said Douglas.
They aren't getting there without support.
Albany State alumni, Griffin Lumber, ASU Student Life and Activities and Home Depot have helped fund the $7,000 trip.
It's the first time ASU is sending cadets to participate.
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