Aviano hosts Allied Forces Cross Country Championships

Members of the U.S. Air Force team pose for a photo showing their backs after running through muddy trails in the Allied Forces Cross Country Championships Nov. 9 in Budoia, Italy. Members from different European air forces, including England, Germany and Poland, competed in the championships. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Katherine Windish)

Members of the U.S. Air Force team pose for a photo showing their backs after running through muddy trails in the Allied Forces Cross Country Championships Nov. 9 in Budoia, Italy. Members from different European air forces, including England, Germany and Poland, competed in the championships. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Katherine Windish)

Members from different European air forces, including England, Germany and Poland, compete in the Allied Forces Cross Country Championships Nov. 9. The Polish air force team came in first place in both the male and female categories. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Katherine Windish)

Members from different European air forces, including England, Germany and Poland, compete in the Allied Forces Cross Country Championships Nov. 9. The Polish air force team came in first place in both the male and female categories. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Katherine Windish)

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy -- Airman 1st Class Jon Porubsky, 100th Security Forces Squadron, runs along muddy trails during the Headquarters Allied Air Command Cross Country Championships Nov. 9, 2010, at Aviano Air Base, Italy. Airman Porubsky was part of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe men's cross country team, and competed against other teams from different European air forces, including those from England, Germany and Poland. The USAFE team placed second to the Polish air force team. The 100th SFS Airman described the course as very muddy and slippery, with sharp turns that went around cliffs that you could have fallen off and rolled down a mountain. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Katherine Windish)

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy -- Airman 1st Class Jon Porubsky, 100th Security Forces Squadron, runs along muddy trails during the Headquarters Allied Air Command Cross Country Championships Nov. 9, 2010, at Aviano Air Base, Italy. Airman Porubsky was part of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe men's cross country team, and competed against other teams from different European air forces, including those from England, Germany and Poland. The USAFE team placed second to the Polish air force team. The 100th SFS Airman described the course as very muddy and slippery, with sharp turns that went around cliffs that you could have fallen off and rolled down a mountain. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Katherine Windish)

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy -- Members from different European air forces, including England, Germany and Poland, competed in the Headquarters Allied Air Command Cross Country Championships Nov. 9, 2010. The U.S. Air Force had both a men's and women's team competing in the competition, which included Airman 1st Class Jon Porubsky, 100th Security Forces Squadron, from RAF Mildenhall, England, in the men's team. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Katherine Windish)

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy -- Members from different European air forces, including England, Germany and Poland, competed in the Headquarters Allied Air Command Cross Country Championships Nov. 9, 2010. The U.S. Air Force had both a men's and women's team competing in the competition, which included Airman 1st Class Jon Porubsky, 100th Security Forces Squadron, from RAF Mildenhall, England, in the men's team. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Katherine Windish)

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy -- Members of the men's and women's U.S. Air Forces in Europe cross country teams competed in the Headquarters Allied Air Command Cross Country Championships at Aviano Air Base, Italy, Nov. 9, 2010. Airman 1st Class Jon Porubsky, #49, 100th Security Forces Squadron, competed against members of other European air forces. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Katerine Windish)

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy -- Members of the men's and women's U.S. Air Forces in Europe cross country teams competed in the Headquarters Allied Air Command Cross Country Championships at Aviano Air Base, Italy, Nov. 9, 2010. Airman 1st Class Jon Porubsky, #49, 100th Security Forces Squadron, competed against members of other European air forces. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Katerine Windish)

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy -- Air force cross-country teams from nations throughout Europe came together at Aviano Air Base, Italy, for the Allied Forces Cross Country Championships Nov. 9.

The Polish air force team came in first place in both the male and female categories. Henryk Szost took first place in the men's 10K race, while Agnieszka Jerzyk took first place in the women's 5K race. Participants ran the trail in the woods of Budoia, Italy.

"The course today was very technical, it was all about who had the guts to just go and not put on the brakes," said Brenda Schrank, third place female runner and first place American female. "It was a very tactical course that required you to be very strategic about how you ran. That was what leveled the field a little bit. Normally, most races are very flat and open and usually, whoever is quickest on their toes can win, but this one didn't turn out that way. You had to be smart and quick."

Matt Williams, the third place male runner and first place American male, agreed with Schrank's sentiments about the trail and said he loved the international competition.

"Friendship through sport really is a mission that is accomplished through these events," Williams said. "We all have friends from different teams and we all walk away from this with a greater understanding of what we do."