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Running toward goal

Staff Sgt. Christian Enriquez, 944th Fighter Wing Det. 1 Maintenance Squadron, F16 avionics craftsman ran into the Luke AFB history books earlier this year.  Running 1.5 miles in 8:10 minutes secured his success of beating the current record of 8:24 which was set at Luke on June 25, 2014. Originally from Chicago Ill., Enriquez began running 13 years ago as a freshman in high school and said it has always been something that he is good at. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Barbara Plante)

Staff Sgt. Christian Enriquez, 944th Fighter Wing Det. 1 Maintenance Squadron, F16 avionics craftsman ran into the Luke AFB history books earlier this year. Running 1.5 miles in 8:10 minutes secured his success of beating the current record of 8:24 which was set at Luke on June 25, 2014. Originally from Chicago Ill., Enriquez began running 13 years ago as a freshman in high school and said it has always been something that he is good at. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Barbara Plante)

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- Going the extra mile is nothing new to Staff Sgt. Christian Enriquez, a Citizen Airman assigned to 944th Fighter Wing Detachment 1 as an F-16 avionics craftsman. He thrives on it.

On September 17, Enriquez will be 1 of 10 marathon runners who will be representing the nearly 70,000 Air Force reservists at the Air Force marathon at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

Almost 100 Citizen Airmen applied for the 20th Air Force Reserve Command Challenge Team and Enriquez feels fortunate to solidify a spot on this year's team.

"The 944 FW Det. 1 was incredibly supportive and helpful with the application process to become a part of the AFRC race team," he said.

Enriquez is excited about representing AFRC in the marathon. However his main goal for the year is to compete in the Javelina 100, which is a 100 mile race through the desert, set for this October.

"I have been training all summer for the Javelina 100, running about 75 - 80 miles a week," said Enriquez. "However, due to an injury in July, my training was put on hold for about a month and a half. Having recently become healthy again and feeling stronger than ever, I'm using the upcoming half marathon as a way to gauge my speed and fitness going into the Javelina."

This will be his second time competing in the Air Force half marathon. Enriquez placed 41st overall during the 2014 event.

"I wasn't on the Air Force Major Command's team back," Enriquez explained. "It was the first race that I had taken seriously since high school and my goal was to run anything under 1:30, so I was ecstatic when I crossed the finish line in 1:27:32."

In preparation for the Javalina, Enriquez runs an average of 18 to 20 miles per day and has competed in various half marathons in Tacoma, Washington and Glendale and Phoenix, Arizona throughout the year.

"I'm hoping to run under 1:16 with a top five overall finish," he said.

"I am genuinely excited for Sergeant Enriquez," said Chief Master Sgt. Warren Massey, 944 FW Det. 1 specialist section chief. "This is a unique opportunity to showcase our folks and what we as the 944 FW have to offer. Sergeant Enriquez is just one example that epitomizes the character the 944th personnel uphold on a daily basis."

As a full time student at Northern Arizona University, Enriquez has been a reservist with the 944 FW since 2015. He is currently studying Kinesiology, the scientific study of human movement, with a goal to become a physician's assistant.

"As a reservist we make sacrifices," continued Massey. "Sergeant Enriquez trained on his own time to qualify for this year's team. He is a very talented and motivated individual. He carries this type of dedication with him in his work. I and the rest of the 944th Maintenance team are lucky to serve with such a member."

All Air Force MAJCOMs have teams that represent them in the race. A traveling trophy will be presented to the winning MAJCOM commander at the Fall CORONA. The trophy will be awarded based on a point system that factors in both participation and performance in the full and half marathon events.

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