|WASHINGTON, Jan. 22, 2007 — Running a marathon would be enough of a challenge for most people, but an Air Force weather officer here wants to take things to the next level by competing in a marathon in Antarctica.
Maj. Michael Mills of the Headquarters Air Force Weather Plans and Requirement Division is running 160 miles a month to train for the 200-person Antarctica Marathon event scheduled for late February at Antarctica's King George Island.
Mills began running in September 2003 when the Air Force brought back the fitness test.
"I credit the fitness test for providing me the motivation to start running," he said. "Running has become such a big part of my life, but I try not to let it consume me. I don't run every day and my average run is around 6 miles. But without it I would not be in as good as shape as I am today."
Mills said he has lost 40 pounds and 7 inches off his waist since he started running.
A few months after he began a running program, he started training for the Air Force Marathon at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. Nine months later, in September 2004, he completed that race and caught the "marathon fever." He has completed a total of seven marathons to date, with an average time of 3.5 hours and a Boston Marathon qualifying time of 3:15 in February 2006.