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Manitou resident Army Capt. Kelly Calway is second at Army Ten-Miler, aims for Olympic Trials


PHOTO: Kelly Calway raised her arms in celebration at the Army Ten-Miler. Calway, of Manitou, placed second in 57 minutes, 20 seconds.

With about four miles left to run in the Army Ten-Miler last Sunday in Washington, D.C., Manitou Springs resident Army Capt. Kelly Calway hit the physical wall she calls "no man's land." It would have been easy to shut it down and cruise to the finish line.
But Calway, the Army's 2008 Female Athlete of the Year, was not going to give up. Instead, she turned her thoughts to her friend, James Byler, a Marine who recently lost both legs while serving in Afghanistan. Calway plowed ahead and finished second in 57:20.
"As much as I thought I was in pain, I knew that James and his family were hurting much more, so I kicked it into gear and pushed to the finish line."
Calway along with her husband, Army Capt. Chris Calway (who is currently deployed to Afghanistan), and their 3-year-old daughter Hazel, moved to Colorado in August. She trains in the Army's World Class Athlete Program and is attempting to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Marathon trials, Jan. 14, 2012 in Houston.
She answered a few questions for PikesPeakSports.us. Here is her interview.

Second place in the Army 10-miler is a fantastic result. You were about 1:26 off the winning pace. That must have been very exciting. Can you tell us about the race and how it felt to stand on that podium?
 I wanted to be up there on the podium this year, and I knew I had done enough training to get there.  I have run the Army Ten-Miler three times now and every year I have dropped t hree minutes off of my time!
This year was no exception. Last year I got to fly in for five days from a deployment to Iraq and ran 60 (minutes).
I knew I had to be smart about the race. I was very excited on the line and the conditions were perfect, but I had to keep it under control in order to finish strong. So I went out in 5:30 and the goal was to run a steady 5:40 pace after that. The winner and third- place girl started out much faster, but I was able to reel them in and by Mile 5 I passed the third-place finisher.
After that I knew I just had to keep it going to the finish line. I knew that my dad and 3-year-old daughter would be there cheering for me and I wanted to make them proud!
It felt GREAT to stand on the podium at the Army Ten-Miler.  Running in the Army jersey is not a job I take lightly. I was out there representing the thousands of soldiers overseas and I wanted to make them proud by bringing home a trophy. I hope I did!

You talked a little after the race about some things that motivated you to run hard. Can you share those with us?
My husband is my biggest supporter. Last year we knew that I'd get to come back from Iraq for five days to run the race and he worked his butt off to make the post team for Hawaii, just so he could see me. When he
can't be at my race, he is tracking online, or getting splits over the phone. I knew that he would be there if he could and I knew that whatever time it was, he was up cheering for me.  I was right, because he called me right after the race. He had NO time to talk, so I spewed the results,said "I love you" and bye!
Also, about a week ago, I got the horrible news that one of my Marine buddies, 1LT James Byler, was wounded by an IED during a dismounted patrol in Afghanistan. He is lucky to be alive, but lost both of his legs in the incident.
At the time of the Army Ten-Miler, James was still waiting on his return flight back home to the USA. I knew that he and his family were going through a lot of pain and uncertainty while they waited for him to return.
After the 6-mile mark, the course makes you pay for the downhill fifth mile as it turns to go back UP Independence Ave.
That was about the time I started feeling it. I was in no-man's-land and began to let up.  But, as much as I thought I was in pain, I knew that James and his family were hurting much more, so I kicked it into gear and pushed to the finish line.

The Army Ten-Miler is a big deal, there were about 30,000 registered to run. What will you remember about this race?
This is my third time racing the Army Ten-Miler. It is such a motivating race. First of all, the location is awesome. I really enjoy running around our National Monuments.  Secondly, the participants are incredible, namely the Wounded Warriors who begin the race 10 minutes before us. Seeing them out on the course is so motivating - they are real heroes.

You have some Olympic marathon goals. Can you talk about your training, where you're at right now and what comes next for you?
Next up is the Big Sur 1/2 Marathon in November and then the California International Marathon in December where I will make my qualifying time for the trials.

You're also an Army Captain. How do you balance your responsibilities with your training?
I am very fortunate to be in the World Class Athlete Program, as they allow me the time and flexibility to properly train for my sport.  In other units I have been in, I found it very difficult to balance work, family, and running and actually get some sleep at night!  Now I have the opportunity to do everything right, and I am taking advantage of it!

Your husband is serving in Afghanistan, does running help you cope with the separation? Definitely. I've been running since the age of 8, and it's been there for me through all sorts of situations. I ran through my entire pregnancy, ran during my time in Iraq, and of course being on this end of the deployment too. Running is my stress reliever.

You live in Manitou Springs, can you tell us where you like to run?
I LOVE trails and we have no shortage of them here!  I tend to do my recovery days on trails and it's freeing and fun for me. I like to run in the Intemann Trail, Section 16, Waldo Canyon, Garden of the Gods and Rampart Reservoir to name a few. I have to confess that I have not yet done the Incline! I can see it from my window and it calls to me, but I haven't had a day off yet.  First one, I get I am going to see what all the fuss is about. 

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