Daniel Scandura says his team will strive to be as fast and mobile as possible, but will remain in formation throughout the duration.
"When you compete as a team, they take the top three placers from your group and match them against the top placers from other teams," Scandura said. "I imagine there are going to be runners from some teams who are going to break off and run more as individuals, but our plan is to run and finish together. Other teams will try to do that, too."
Scandura, 23, of Lansing, is a senior studying history and political science at Illinois State University. He is also a ROTC cadet, member of the Army Reserve, and is due to be placed in active duty after he graduates this spring.
Scandura is also the captain of an ROTC running team -- the Redbird Batallion -- consisting of fellow ISU students Joshua Sternberg and Katie O'Neil, and Bradley University students Vincent Tagare, Joshua Love and Ryan Deiker. This Sunday they will compete in the 28th-annual Army 10-Miler along roadways adjacent to the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.
"We both have the same training plan," said Scandura, who approved and coordinated the training regimen the Bradley students submitted to him. "We should be ready to go."
The race generally attracts runners from all branches of service -- active, in-active, reserves and ROTC. Civilians may also participate in the event co-sponsored by the Association of the United States Army, and KBR -- an engineering, construction and private military contracting company, though entries have closed with more than 30,000 runners registered.
Scandura, who was a long-distance track runner for T.F. South, recently completed his second Chicago Marathon with a time of 3 hours, 34 minutes and 34 seconds.
"Last year, I was a little faster," Scandura said of his first Chicago Marathon. "It may have been the injuries I sustained through training for this one."
Scandura says he wishes that he knew what he does now when he was running with the Rebels.
"It's coming to realize that there's always someone who knows more about running than you do," he said. "The people who had helped and coached me have always stressed that it's about time management. To run a successful marathon takes hours of training, and it's a matter how you balance that training with school, with work -- which for me is ROTC, and other parts of your life. You have to be organized and disciplined with your schedule."
Scandura plans to run more marathons, maybe even Boston.
"I need to cut some time to qualify for that," said Scandura, who aims to become a medical service officer. "I know I could do it, but it depends on what active duty has in store for me."