Three Old Guys and Dame: USAF OAY Cheryl Moore Snowshoes Nationals

“Three Old Guys and a Dame:” The story of Outstanding Airmen of the Year winner, Cheryl Moore, the newest competitor arriving at Lakewoods Resorts, Cable, Wisconsin, for the 2011 Dion USSSA National Champ races. Read of her award winning USAF career taken to a new level in the world of snowshoe racing — and some catchy words, too.

Outstanding Airmen of the Year Program

This award recognizes 12 outstanding enlisted personnel for superior leadership, job performance, community involvement, and personal achievements. “The award winners were announced at the end of July 2010 and the 12 of us took over our ‘duties’ at the Air and Space conference in Washington D.C. in September 2010.  We hold the 12 OAY title for one year and will pass along ‘the torch’ to the next winners on September 2011.  Not only is it a humbling and great honor to be part of this group, the 12 OAY make up the enlisted council.  The enlisted council performs all their regular job duties while in addition addresses enlisted force issues to the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force. The 12 OAY — they are such an amazing group of people and doing really great things for our Air Force and our country.”

Official USAF Duties:

Senior Airman Cheryl A. Moore is one of only two trainers for the Multi-Source Analyst position that have earned the Instructor Rated Officer certification. While deployed, she analyzed Predator video enabling compound Hellfire strikes. She warned combat units of imminent threats and protected forces against snipers, improvised explosive devices and ambushes. Sergeant Moore worked outside her specialty and excelled in combat with minimal training or supervision. She led intelligence fusion for 120 remotely piloted aircraft missions with 1,300 hours on targets, giving critical situational awareness for 240 combat operations. (from the award site, links below)

“Three Old Farts and a Dame”

“I joined the Air Force November 2006.  My first duty station was Hickam AFB, Hawaii.  I spent three years there working with unmanned aerial vehicles.  While stationed in Hawaii, I joined an outrigger canoe club which was awesome!  I ran my first marathon in Hawaii December 2007.  I ran my second marathon September 2009 which was the Air Force marathon in Dayton, Ohio.  I achieved my PR at that race which was 3:48.

My third marathon was the 2010 Bataan Death March Memorial held at White Sands, NM, an Army base.  I completed that race right next to my dad; it was his first marathon at age 60.  My fourth marathon was the 2010 Air Force Marathon.  This one I completed right next to my sister; it was also her first marathon.  My 60-year-old dad also did this marathon with us.

In October 2010, I participated in the Navy Wilderness Challenge in West Virginia.  I was on a team with three Navy guys and our teams name was “Three Old Farts and a Dame”.  We did very well, placing third out of all the Navy teams and eighth overall. There were Air Force, Navy, Marine and Army teams . . . I was an honorary Navy member.

How I Discovered Snowshoe Racing

I transferred to Mountain Home, ID from Hawaii in August 2010.  Now that I have four seasons again, my options for athletic events widen.

While skiing in Sun Valley, ID over Thanksgiving weekend, I read in the local paper about an upcoming snowshoe race.  At that point, I didn’t even know they made snowshoes for running.  I immediately signed up for the 10 km and waited impatiently for the event to arrive.

I bought a pair of Atlas Race snowshoes, however I did not have the opportunity to try them out until I strapped them on at the start line that sunny January morning.  The helpful Atlas representative kindly took time to make sure I had them positioned on my feet correctly –they were not.  After about two minutes of jogging around the start line, I deemed myself ready to go.  I gaggled up with the other racers, positioned my sunglasses with determination, and we were off!

It was a brilliantly beautiful day and the course was a great mix of groomed Nordic track, single track and a nice section of make your own track!  Coupled with a decent amount of hills and a 3000 foot elevation change, this race kicked my butt!  My finish time was 1:31:28.  I can run a 10 km on the road in about half that time so I realized very quickly snowshoe running is challenging, satisfying and fantastic (see link to race report at end of article).

I am hooked!  My goal at the Dion USSSA National Championship Race is to have fun and beat my qualifying time!  How much I want to beat it by is currently undecided.  I am also very proud to be able to represent the Air Force at this race.  Our Air Force is the best in the world, and that is something to brag about.

Things I Steadfastly Believe

Exercise!  No matter what form you choose , just get out and do it regularly!  I highly recommend signing up for a race because it gives you a reason to train for it.  I have never met anyone at a finish line that said, “Boy, I wish I wouldn’t of done that” (Phillip’s note: Need to get Cheryl entered on the Sawtooth 100 Trail Ultra. I say that before I even start). Exercise will improve your life. Guaranteed.

Other things I believe: supporting all branches of the military and our Veterans.  Our freedom in this country is not free, and many of our brothers and sisters have selflessly paid the ultimate cost with their lives.

And a few last things that just can’t be left out: smile at strangers (especially the grumpy looking ones!), homemade bread and fresh farm eggs. Seriously, you cannot beat a fresh farm egg with a store bought egg.  It just can’t be done.  My main hobbies are: running, archery, hunting, cooking, eating, reading and living with a purpose.

More Info on the OAY Program:

Sun Valley Qualifying Race Report:

Enjoy a free online email subscription to Snowshoe Magazine:

Or, read his new book: HARMONIZING: Keys to Living in the Song of Life or at Amazon:

About the author

Phillip Gary Smith

Phillip Gary Smith, Senior Editor, published "The 300-Mile Man" about Roberto Marron's historic doubling of the Tuscobia 150 mile endurance snow run. He publishes "iHarmonizing Competition" on various forms of competition, including drag racing, his favorite motorsport. Earlier, he wrote "HARMONIZING: Keys to Living in the Song of Life" as a manual for life with chapters such as Winning by Losing, Can God Pay Your Visa Bill?, and a young classic story, The Year I Met a Christmas Angel. His book, "Ultra Superior," is the first written on the Superior Trail ultra-distance events. He mixes writing with his profession--the venture capital world--a dying art. He is a creator of CUBE Speakers, a group espousing themes in "HARMONIZING: Keys" in a unique way. Currently, he has two books in the works.
Write to him at, or find him on Twitter or Facebook @iHarmonizing.