Airman aims for record-breaking 2018

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It’s taking ultra-runner Senior Airman Daniel Ly much longer to condition to a physique that will enable him to break the 7:51 mile and a half Tinker Air Force Base record than he had originally intended.

Ly recently ran an 8 minute, 41 second time in six laps on the Tinker AFB track during his annual PT test—during which, Ly told the “Tinker Take Off” in June, he was going to break the 2014 record put in place by Senior Airman John Gignac.

And until his third lap, with split times of 1:21 and 2:47, it looked like Ly was going to do just that.

“The first lap I was thinking I was going to be close to this base record. But then as my body started building up with the lactic acid and then I started breathing faster, I wasn’t controlled anymore. That’s when I dropped a little bit of motivation on laps four and five.”

But Ly’s had a lot on his plate as of late. In the middle of an intense running regime, Ly transitioned from the 552nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron to a new career with the 72nd Force Support Squadron as a reenlistments/extensions technician. On top of that, Ly was studying extensively to earn the rank of staff sergeant during his first promotion eligibility – a juggling act that ultimately paid off with a line number of 9,303.

“It cut down my mileage a lot in that time I was trying to study for staff,” Ly said over the phone. “It’s all priority. I wanted to make [staff sergeant] my first try, so I put a lot of time into it.”

He also said the stress of juggling his workouts and studying to make rank made it difficult to keep track of what he was eating for convenience. For Ly, it’s a matter of dropping weight. “Fifteen to 20 pounds lighter would make it easier [to break the record],” he said.

Ly hopes to be closer to his high school body weight of 150 pounds by the spring of 2018. If he can drop the weight by then, he wants to vie for the base record again.

In February, Ly will also be running either the Tinker Half-Marathon or 5K to “keep up speed work and not train as far and just focus on speed and see what happens,” he said. “See if I can lose some weight before then, too.”

(Originally published in The Tinker Take Off)

Elliott Scott