Idaho Airman takes Gold in Air Force Half Marathon

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Sarah Pokorney
  • 124th Fighter Wing
Airman 1st Class Annelise Rowe, a force support specialist who was recently selected to be the 124th Security Forces Squadron Operations Officer, in Boise, Idaho finished as the first place military female and third place female in the U.S. Air Force Half Marathon in Dayton, Ohio, on Sept. 19, 2015.

"The entire way, people kept saying, 'You're the second place female!' and wouldn't you know it, I was passed by another girl in the last half mile, who was sponsored--mind you--and a rock star! I didn't let that crush my spirits, however, and ran all the way through the finish, where I was greeted by a Major General and awarded my finisher medal," said Rowe.  "I ended up finishing with a time of 1 hour, 31 minutes, 47 seconds--a 7:01 per-mile average--earning the award for 1st Place Overall Military Female and 3rd Place Overall Female."

Rowe was one of three female runners on the Air National Guard MAJCOM Challenge Team of 10. The ANG team runners were selected from across the nation from a pool of more than 90 applicants and notified in June that they had been selected. There were around 15,000 runners, military and civilian that participated in the Air Force Marathon this year.

The ANG team was a balanced mix of members--half officers, half enlisted; half full time and half traditional or drill status guardsmen. Six members, four men and two females, competed in the half marathon. Four members, three men and four women, competed in the full marathon.

Rowe trained for 12 weeks before the Air Force marathon. She also ran a race every month in 2015 and had been on several relay teams including Hood to Coast and the Sawtooth Relay. She also won two overall races this year--the Freakin Fast HalfMarathon and  the Freakin Fast Full Marathon, a Boston Marathon qualifier that is a mostly downhill course that starts at the top of Bogus Basin Ski Resort. "That was a fun run but really hurt," she said.  But these recent running adventures are nothing new for this life-long runner.

"I started running when I was just a kid with my mom. She has run several full marathons including the Boston Marathon. I always watched her while I was growing up and wanted to be fit like my mom."

Rowe competed in the 400-meter run and the 800 in high school and college. "There was a lot of pressure to be the best and compete and win, I really enjoyed running for the fun of it and didn't so much enjoy the competitive aspect," She said.

After graduating college Rowe and her mother started doing fun runs including a few half marathons. Then, when she went to basic training in 2014 where they used an interval training technique, things changed for Rowe.

"In basic training I set a record for the fifth fastest female ever to go through. I had no idea that my run time met that qualification until graduation; I got called up to receive a coin for it," she said. "That style [interval training] of running really clicked with me. When I came home I was a lot faster."

She returned home, continued running races and a short time later was happy to receive an email calling for runners to apply for the ANG MAJCOM team. To be considered, they had to submit their run time from a half marathon they had participated in within the past year. She registered for a race two weeks later, ran, submitted her time and was selected as one of the ten fastest over 80 other applicants. Since competing in the Air Force Marathon, Rowe continues to train daily.

Tech. Sgt. Daniel Rowe, Airman Rowe's husband and 124FW recruiter, said, "She's ridiculously regimented. It's early morning workouts--whether it's running or cross fit workouts--literally every day." Rowe said, "We live a very active lifestyle. When we vacation we don't just sightsee, we take hikes and workout."

She offers three training tips for anyone that has considered running competitively; first, get a plan; second, stick to a schedule; and third, start small.

"Your first race doesn't have to be a full marathon, a half marathon or an Ironman--it can be a 5k or jog a 10k but having a training plan is essential," she said. Her training plan includes strength training, running and cross training.

Since the Air Force Marathon, Rowe has participated in several runs including two full marathons in less than a week and even earning Boston Marathon qualifying times in both. She ran the City of Trees Marathon Oct. 12 with a time of 3 hours, 16 minutes and the Freakin' Fast Marathon on Oct. 17 winning first overall female with a time of 3 hours, 6 minutes, 58 seconds--a 7:08 per-mile average and her new personal best.

If you'd like to stay up on Rowe's running adventures, visit her AunieSauce blog.