Wisconsin Guard Marathon Team Places Second Nationally

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Mike Zeigle
  • 115 FW
On Sunday, May 1, five Wisconsin National Guard runners participated in the National Guard-Lincoln Track Club Marathon in Lincoln, Neb. This race is the National Guard Marathon Championships and is the qualifying race for selecting the All-Guard Marathon Team. Forty-seven states and territories sent Guard teams to the race this year.

At the same time a parallel event, also sponsored by Lincoln Track Club, took place at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo. National Guard runners in that race were also eligible to qualify for this year's All-Guard Team using their finishing times at that race.

Members of the Wisconsin team competing in Lincoln were: Capt. Mike Western of Waverly (Iowa), 128th Air Control Squadron; Capt. Seth Kaste of Sun Prairie, 128th Air Control Squadron; Staff Sgt. Jason Kirch of Prairie du Sac, 106th Engineer Detachment; Tech. Sgt. Melanie Peters of Windsor, 115th Fighter Wing; Tech. Sgt. Mike Zeigle of Sun Prairie, team captain, 115th Fighter Wing; Master Sgt. LeRoy DePas of Kaukauna, 115th Fighter Wing; and Spc. Nathan Lee of Eau Claire, 106th Engineer Detachment.

Captain Western was the top Wisconsin finisher with a time of 2:53:33. Sergeant Kirch came in at 3:02:48, followed by Captain  Kaste at 3:05:16. The combined finish times of Western, Kirch and Kaste put the Wisconsin team in second place overall out of the 47 states and territories competing, the second highest finish for a Wisconsin Team in the 27 years the event has been held--Wisconsin won the event in 1988.

Western, Kaste and Kirch are carrying on a tradition of running together as a team. Western and Kaste ran together on their high school team in Cadott, WI. Western, Kaste and Kirch later ran for the University of Wisconsin -Stout while in college.

Other Wisconsin finishes were: Sgt. Peters, 3:34:32 - 4th place in the 35-39 age group, Spec. Lee with a time of 4:17:00 and Sgt. Zeigle, 3:06:37 - 1st place in the 55-59 age group. Sergeant DePas competed in the ½ marathon event.

Returning team members Western, Kirch, Kaste, Zeigle, and Peters all qualified for this year's All-Guard team, a first for Wisconsin. The All-Guard Team travels to race events throughout the country where they compete and participate in recruiting and retention activities.

For more information on the WI National Guard Marathon & Biathlon Teams, visit: