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Winning big in Vegas, Peterson runner finishes first

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Capt. Jason Brosseau, 76th Space Control Squadron crew commander, smiles as he crosses the finish line, clinching first place at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series in Las Vegas Nov. 17. Brosseau credited his success to his six months of desert training while deployed to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. The hot and dry weather in Qatar allowed Brosseau to acclimate and condition himself for the full marathon in Las Vegas. (Courtesy photo)

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Capt. Jason Brosseau, 76th Space Control Squadron crew commander, smiles as he crosses the finish line, clinching first place at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series in Las Vegas Nov. 17. Brosseau credited his success to his six months of desert training while deployed to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. The hot and dry weather in Qatar allowed Brosseau to acclimate and condition himself for the full marathon in Las Vegas. (Courtesy photo)

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Capt. Jason Brosseau, 76th Space Control Squadron crew commander raises his arms in victory as he crosses the finish line, clinching first place at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series in Las Vegas. Brosseau credited his success to his six months of desert training while deployed to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. The hot and dry weather in Qatar allowed Brosseau to acclimate and condition himself for the full marathon in Las Vegas. (Courtesy photo)

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Capt. Jason Brosseau, 76th Space Control Squadron crew commander raises his arms in victory as he crosses the finish line, clinching first place at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series in Las Vegas. Brosseau credited his success to his six months of desert training while deployed to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. The hot and dry weather in Qatar allowed Brosseau to acclimate and condition himself for the full marathon in Las Vegas. (Courtesy photo)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Runners made their way through the twilight night, in and out of the glowing lights of Las Vegas, battling the heat and each other for a medaling position.

Peterson's own Capt. Jason Brosseau raised his arms and smiled as he crossed the finish line, clinching first place at the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series in Las Vegas Nov. 17. On leave in Las Vegas following his deployment, with a cool Sunday night for running, Brosseau barely broke a sweat after winning his first marathon with a time of 2 hours, 35 minutes, 26 seconds.

"I ran division one track and field at Southern Illinois University where I did ROTC. I have always been a track guy. When I commissioned into the Air Force, it was a lot harder to find local track races, so I had to up my distance and started dabbling in 5k and 10k races, then half-marathons," said Brosseau, 76th Space Control Squadron crew commander. "Eventually I got involved with the Air Force's running team, where I started competing in a couple of different events a year - from the half-marathon at the Air Force Marathon to the Armed Forces Championship."

Brosseau credited his success in Vegas to the desert training he did while on a six-month deployment to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. Temperatures averaging more than 100 degrees with up to 80 percent humidity helped Brosseau acclimate himself for the full marathon in Vegas heat.

"I found the Vegas marathon while on deployment to Al Udeid. It's really hot and sandy there so being the runner I am, I kept up my miles on my downtime and went to the drawing board on when I thought would be a good time to do a race, because you train like you fight," he said. "I enjoy running, it is a hobby for me. It is something that I have been doing since I was a kid and it makes it even better when you can throw on an Air Force jersey and represent our force."

Brosseau returned to the United States after his deployment and wasted no time before heading off to Vegas to test his mettle. The 26.2-mile race started in front of Mandalay Bay, winding in and out of the city in a series of loops leading to the final stretch down the famous Las Vegas Strip to the finish line in front of The Mirage.

"In Al Udeid I would do laps around the base, running about 70 to 90 miles a week at night when the sun was down," said Brosseau. "We started the race at 4:30 p.m. and finished up around 7 p.m. It was cool, they closed Las Vegas Boulevard and we got to run right down the strip."

Brosseau paced Las Vegas resident Andrew Duncan--the two of them running in third and fourth place--for the majority of the race before beginning the battle back and forth starting around mile 23 and continuing to the finish line.

Runner Yon Yilma, of Edmonds, Wash., commanded a dominating lead of five minutes until he began to cramp and wane around the 23-mile mark, dropping the lead. The second place runner also fell back because of cramping, giving Brosseau and Duncan a shot for the win.

"Being a track guy, I know if it came down to a (sprint), no one was going to beat me. I could taste victory, (Duncan's) breathing was a little taxed but he was definitely pushing the pace with me. I thought to myself--be patient, be patient, let him do all of the work. The last quarter mile I opened up my stride and could hear his breathing getting further and further away from me," said Brosseau.

"I wasn't supposed to win. These kinds of things happen, you hate to have that kind of luck fall onto you but it happens, guys cramp up, people get lost on the course, people roll their ankle. It's just bad luck sometimes," said Brosseau.

Brosseau crossed the finish line first and beat Duncan by nine seconds, clinching his first title. "That's why it's called a marathon; you have to be in it for the long-haul."

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