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News > Reservist represents PACAF during Air Force Marathon
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Staff Sgt Jose Garza, a low observable technician assigned to the 477th Mainteance Squadron, was selected along with three others to represent Pacific Air Forces during the Air Force Marathon September 18. (Courtesy Photo)
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Reservist represents PACAF during Air Force Marathon

Posted 8/5/2010   Updated 8/5/2010 Email story   Print story


by Capt. Ashley Conner
477th Fighter Group Public Affairs

8/5/2010 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska  -- A Reservist assigned to the 477th Fighter Group was selected along with three others to represent Pacific Air Forces during the Air Force Marathon September 18.

"I was pretty excited to be selected," said Staff Sgt. Jose Garza, 477th Maintenance Squadron low observable technician. "But I would have run in (the Air Force marathon) either way."

Sergeant Garza ran last year's Air Force marathon at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio in 3:05 and came in 28th place overall. He hopes to run the marathon this year in 2:50, beating his best time of 2:56. Sergeant Garza is the only enlisted member and Reservist on the all officer Active Duty PACAF marathon team.

Sergeant Garza is a former Marine that crossed into Air Force Blue in 2002, first in the National Guard and then into the Reserves in 2008.

His talent for long distance running was not something he discovered until later on in life but he thrived on competition at a young age. As a 10 year old living in Mexico, Sergeant Garza joined a local fitness center's race walking club.

An Olympic sport, race walking, is a foot race different from running because one foot must always be in contact with the ground for distances as far as 31 miles.

"I was a competitive race walker from age 10 through 17 and at 16 I held the national record," said Sergeant Garza.

After he stopped competing in race walking Sergeant Garza admits to being sedentary for almost 10 years.

"It wasn't until I was getting ready to join the Marine Corps that I started to run," he said. "I quickly realized that it was something I was good at."

Sergeant Garza was a part of the Marine Corps marathon team and has since continued running up to two marathons a year. His workouts are comprised of runs as long as 18 miles and averages almost 60 miles a week.

Returning to an overweight sedentary lifestyle is something he said he will never do.

"I would much rather workout than restrict calories, I like food too much," he said with a grin.

8/11/2010 4:23:49 PM ET
Good luck to Staff Sgt. Jose Garza and the other PACAF runners this September
NLS, Hickam AFB
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