Run, Tommy, run

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Eboni Reams
  • 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
Rain or shine, dark or light, he is seen running around the base. Today with the Incirlik Air Base Road Scholars running group, later with his daughter and tomorrow night he hits the pavement with the high school cross-country team. No discrimination, no speed too slow or fast, whoever has a run to share is a friend of his.

Capt. Tommy Rutherford began his run training to achieve a simple goal: better physical fitness assessment scores he could be proud of.

"I've always been a runner, but I was more of a sprinter when I was younger," explained Rutherford.  "As I got older, I noticed it was getting harder to get the results I wanted on my PT tests by just 'winging it'. I decided I needed to change something so I started running with co-workers, family, friends or whoever had a mile to spare.  After a while, it became more like eating and sleeping, and now I get really excited about the opportunity I get to run versus viewing it as something I must do."

The 728th Air Mobility Squadron aerial port flight commander does not only run for himself, he motivates others to run on a daily basis. Rutherford will run at anyone's pace giving motivation and tips for running and life.

"Running is a privilege some people don't have," said Rutherford. "There may come a day when injury or age restricts the amount of running I can do, but now I'm constantly aware of how blessed I am to have the freedom to run on a daily basis and enjoy all the associated benefits."

Working for the Air Mobility Command is a mission-packed job transporting the Air Force's greatest assets by aircraft, day in and day out. Rutherford explains how much running positively influences his work ethic.

"When I run I feel healthy and energetic and I accomplish more," said Rutherford.  "It's a noticeable difference.  I'm able to put most of the things I do on a daily basis into a running perspective.  A great example is running races.  Early in my running career I thought the people doing well at all the races had a special workout or food, or it was just genetic.  The truth of the matter is that you just need to work harder.  It's the one thing we all control.  You only get out whatever you put in."

Even after much success, the decorated racer sprints toward the future with many goals on his mind.

"I plan to run the Athens Marathon, and the Boston Marathon," says Rutherford.  "I'd also like to earn a spot on the United States Air Forces in Europe Cross-Country Team.  My goal is to achieve my personal best at each race and meet new people."

The avid runner let's everyone in on the question on the minds of many as he is seen running daily for miles on end- Why?

"I run because it makes me feel good," Rutherford explains.  "I run because it allows me to eat more of my favorite foods.  I run because part of my job is to remain ready and fitness is a big part of readiness.  I also run because runners tend to create a very positive social bond and it's a great way to learn new things and to help others."

With nothing but endless roads ahead, Rutherford looks forward to countless personal bests and lives touched.