By USAREC Public Affairs
Apr. 11, 2016
First Sgt. Anthony Garrison started running marathons in 2000 because he wanted to do something that would help him get a promotion.
"We all know that promotion selection is getting harder and harder each year," he said. "If everyone is getting a 270 or above, then you are just part of the norm, so I asked myself, 'What could I do to separate myself from the rest of the field?'"
After completing a few runs, he got hooked. Now the Columbia Company first sergeant is on a quest to run a marathon in all 50 states. He joined the "50 State Marathon Club," and since January 2012, he's averaged one marathon a month. To date, he's run 34 marathons in 22 states. He plans to reach his goal before he retires in 2021.
Garrison said running is also a great way to relieve stress.
"Running is a good time to just clear my mind," he said. "I think about what's going on that day, what all I have to do, see some sights maybe, and just feel way better after you are done. I run nearly every day, and I have never worn headphones. I don't believe in listening to music. Nothing against others who do, but I don't need that to motivate me. I would probably run a lot better if I was listening to an iPod with some Rocky music or whatever, but I just choose not to do that."
Garrison said he's not your typical runner and how fast he runs depends on the race.
"My times are all over the place," he said. "It has to do with not only the shape I'm in, but the terrain, elevation, how I feel that day, etc.
He ran the Myrtle Beach Marathon in 4:14:XX. The course was flat and right at sea level.
"One year later, I ran the Lake Tahoe Marathon in 6:12:XX," Garrison said. "The elevation was up to over 7,000 feet and it climbs 1,000 feet during the last three miles of the course, when you are obviously at your most fatigued state. I average between 4:30 and 5:30, depending on the location, and how much sleep I get in between flights and layovers."
He said running makes him a better Soldier because it keeps him healthy and in shape.
Garrison is attending the Sergeants Major Academy this year and doesn’t know how much time he’ll have to travel and run, but does plan to register for Albuquerque, New Mexico’s Duke City Marathon Oct. 16.