Athletes turn out for triathlon

USAF photo: Senior Airman Erik Cardenas Staff Sgt. Freddie Jones, 27th Special Operations Force Support Squadron, explains the course to the competitors that they will take in the five kilometer bike ride and run.

By Senior Airman: Erik Cardenas: 27th SOW Public Affairs

Swimming 500 meters, riding a bike 10 kilometers and running a 5k is not exactly fun for most people to do on a weekend.

For 38 competitive athletes, it was all the fun in the world on Aug. 22, as the 27th Special Operations Force Support Squadron held its third annual mini-triathlon.

“We do it every year,” said Staff Sgt. Freddie Jones, 27 SOFSS. “It’s a great way to concentrate on morale and camaraderie with base and community members.”

While the event overall focused on a larger picture, those who participated had goals of their own.

“My goal was to finish in the top three and I ended up placing fourth,” said Staff Sgt. Eric Schmidt, 27th Special Operations Civil Engineer Squadron. “Although I didn’t achieve my initial goal it’s motivation to work harder next time. This was my only my first triathlon.”

The competitors met at the base pool where they received instructions for the bike riding and running course. Immediately after, they began the competition with the 500-meter swim. The bikes were provided by the contestants or rented out by outdoor recreation.

The bicycle-riding portion began outside the pool, went around the golf course and ended at the fitness center.

Planning and preparation for events such as mini-triathlons tend to be lengthy due to all the coordination and detail involved, but Jones and his staff found a way to make it happen.

“When you know your personnel, good things blossom,” Jones said. “That’s why we could do it on such short notice.”

The staff put together the routes, got the volunteers and provided water, bananas, and oranges for the competitors in just under three weeks.

The competition was held for military, dependents, and the off-base community. Participants had the opportunity to compete as a team or as individuals.

In the team category, Staff Sgt. Christopher Rueckert, Staff Sgt. Rodolfo Guerra, and Staff Sgt. Blake Jorgenson, 27th Special Operations Logistics Readiness Squadron, placed first with at time of 55 minutes, four seconds.

In the men’s category, Scott Percival won with a time of 54:37. In the women’s category, Amy Ward won with a time of 1:06:07.

The mini-triathlon is just one of a handful of summer fitness events the 27 SOFSS has held. In May, the squadron held a spin-a-thon and a gate-to-gate run promoting fitness for Cannon members.

For information on upcoming events call the fitness center at 784-2466.