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News | May 5, 2021

Running for Carter

By Staff Sgt. Charles Johnston

The 2021 New Hampshire National Guard Marathon Team trekked west to the Great Plains of Nebraska to race in the Lincoln Marathon on May 2.

Five NH soldiers ran time trials against guardsmen from 42 states and U.S. territories for a shot at making the All Guard team.

The competition forges strong bonds between athletes.

“While we do compete against each other, we’re also each other’s biggest supporters,” said 1st Sgt. Eddie Clements of the 195th Regional Training Institute.

Only the top 50 males and 20 females earn coveted All Guard status to race nationally at endorsed events.

Clements made the grade for the fourth straight year, the only Granite Stater who made the cut.

“I went out too hard,” Clements said. “I had a rough day, but I’m happy.”

Though a top squad spot is the ultimate prize, months of training reap other rewards.

“I compete for the National Guard marathon team because it’s a great way to maintain your fitness,” said Sgt. 1st Class Corey Caza of the 1986th Contingency Contracting Team, 195th Regional Training Institute. “It keeps you motivated.”

Caza said he battled severe cramps early in the contest despite drinking at every aid station and consuming about 10 energy gels. But he pushed through and finished strong.

New Hampshire was missing one of its top athletes this year. Spc. Carter Schade, a motor transport operator with the 941st Military Police Battalion, died unexpectedly Jan. 21. He was 20 years old. The team dedicated the race in Schade’s memory.

One by one, the sun-beaten runners crossed the finish in summerlike heat.

“It was not easy out there today,” Clements said as he fought back tears and pointed skyward. “I had to ask Carter to help me. It was a tough day.”

After collecting his medal, Capt. Raymond Youngs of the 941st Military Police Battalion recalled his personal 26.2-mile crucible.

“I slowly started feeling the wheels come off at 22,” he said. “Then it was survival mode. Finish for Schade.”

They all finished for Schade. Clements at 3:01:24, Caza at 3:53:17, Youngs at 4:03:54, and Cpl. Kayla Denison of 3rd Battalion, 197th Field Artillery Brigade and 1st Lt. Carley Rotenberg of the 941st Military Police Battalion crossed at 4:48:02 and 5:37:21, respectively.