FARGO - The North Dakota National Guard Marathon Team is competing this weekend during the annual Lincoln National Guard Marathon in Lincoln, Neb.
While the Guard has fielded runners before, this is the first year a female team has represented the N.D. Guard.
The four top male and female marathoners in the N.D. Army and Air Guards were chosen to represent the state.
On the first-ever women's team is Capt. Jackie Pekarek, of Moorhead, Minn., who serves in the N.D. Air National Guard, along with three N.D. Army National Guard members: Staff Sgt. Brekka Carlson, of Bismarck, Staff Sgt. Amy Wieser Willson, of West Fargo, and Sgt. Heather Barta, of Grand Forks.
On the men's team is N.D. Air National Guard member Staff Sgt. Adam Krueger, of Moorhead, and N.D. Army National Guard members Capt. Jerod Tufte, of Dawson, 1st Lt. Andrew Wetzel, of Grassy Butte, and 1st Lt. Robert Meland, of Fargo. This will be Krueger's third year on the team and Meland's second. Last year, Krueger led the N.D. team with a 17th place finish in his age division.
The teams represented the National Guard during a National Guard Bureau Recruiting and Retention Workshop Saturday.
During today's marathon, Guardsmen will compete for a coveted spot on the All-Guard Marathon Team, which is comprised of the top runners in the entire National Guard.
Lt. Col. David Skalicky, the team's coach from Bismarck, will compete in the half-marathon race.