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Racing down the test track
HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- Participants in the High Speed Test Track Mach 10K begin the 10 km race Dec. 9, 2011 at the Holloman High Speed Test Track. The event, hosted by the 846th Test Squadron, offered Team Holloman runners a 5 km, 10 km and 10-mile race. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman DeAndre Curtiss / Released)
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Racing down the test track

Posted 12/17/2011   Updated 12/16/2011 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Veronica Stamps
49th Wing Public Affairs

12/17/2011 - HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M.  -- Marking this year as the 10th Anniversary of the Mach 10k, the 846th Test Squadron opened the Holloman High Speed Test Track to members of Team Holloman who wanted to test their 5 km, 10 km and 10-mile fitness capability.

U.S. Air Force 2nd Lt. Charlie Cameron, 846th TS project manager said the fun run's name, Mach 10, is a spinoff of the track's goal of achieving a land speed record of Mach 10.

"(The Annual Mach 10k run) is a tradition that was started 10 years ago, that gives Team Holloman the opportunity to come out and see the test track and get a work out at the same time," said Cameron.

Although there were only nine participants who competed in the 10-mile race, two chose to compete in the 5 km and eight ran in the 10 km.

For some, it took all year to train for the 10-mile race, but for others, it's a lifestyle.

"I was not training specifically for this race, I just try to stay in shape to be able to run a half marathon comfortably at all times," said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Andrew Wickerham, 49th Maintenance Squadron fuel shop. "I enjoy doing longer events and this allows me to bump up my mileage as needed for marathons or longer triathlons."

Coming in first place at one hour and 10 minutes, Wickerham said this was his first time running alongside the HHSTT.

"I really enjoy long runs and I thought it would be a unique experience to be able to say that I ran the whole length of the historic test track," said Wickerham. "I hope to do this race every year."

All 19 participants encountered static sled displays along the way allowing them to get a glimpse of the instruments used at the test track.

At the south end of the track was a static display of an F-16 sled used for egress testing. On the track was a display of a "birdchaser" used to clear birds away from the track before a larger sled is fired.

Although participants did not see the rocket sleds in action, they still made their mark in history by tracking their speed and distance per mile.

"The track is just barely shorter than 10 miles, so the 10 mile runners get to brag that they have run the entire length of the world's longest and fastest test track," said Cameron.

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