SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
Master Sgt. Pete Aronson, 14th Test Squadron superintendent, was the first Airman to complete the 2019 Lazyman Triathlon, which ended Feb. 28.
More than 200 hundred Airmen signed up for the event, with 117 finishing the challenge. Competitors had the month of February to complete a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bicycle ride and 26.2 mile run.
Aronson broke last year’s record completing his first Lazyman in 17 hours and 20 minutes (his past year’s record was 19 hours and 45 minutes.) To test his own limits, he completed two more Lazymans before the event’s end date.
An experienced marathon and ultramarathon runner, Aronson reminisced about last year’s accomplishments and how he planned to break his own record for this year’s competition.
“I completed my first ever Lazyman Triathlon event last year,” he said. “I learned the Schriever record was actually three days, so I challenged myself to complete it in just one.
“My goal was 24 hours, but finished in much less with a few breaks,” he continued.
Aronson explained his approach based on his strengths.
“Running is my thing, I don’t own a bike and I don’t swim very much, so those two events are my weaknesses,” Aronson said. “Traditionally the swim is first, so I’ll get my painful event out of the way early. I’m OK with the 112 mile bike ride and thankfully, the running is last and I have no problem running on tired legs.”
For Aronson, the Lazyman Triathlon was a training ground for improving his endurance for future events.
“The Lazyman gives me the opportunity to start training seriously for the upcoming five to six races I have planned for 2019,” he said. “If all goes well with no injuries, I’ll finish up the year with what I call the Mega-Ultramarathon, or the ‘Tahoe 200,’ a 205 mile point-to-point race around Lake Tahoe with a time limit of 100 hours.”
Seth Cannello, 50th Force Support Squadron fitness center director, highlighted how Aronson’s commitment motivated other Airmen to participate in the event.
“Master Sergeant Aronson is always encouraging his wingmen to participate in the Lazyman,” he said. “Seven Airmen from the 14th Test Squadron registered directly because of him. He is an ultra-endurance guy and always volunteers to run our POW/MIA events. He typically runs 24 straight hours or fills in the hours that nobody wants, for example, 1 a.m. - 4 a.m.”
Aronson shared insight on how to triumph in an event like this.
“Eat lean and hydrate early and often, especially for the swim. You will sweat in the water and not even realize how much. I lost four pounds of water weight in less than four hours,” Aronson said.
“Once you start an endurance event like this you will need to stay ahead of the power curve to avoid getting sick or losing energy.”
He explained how he mentally goes beyond where his training gets him.
“Over time, I’ve developed a never give up mentality,” Aronson said. “Most endurance runners will agree that training will only take you so far. You will eventually hit the wall and want to quit. You will need to find a way to push through that barrier and keep going until you finish what you intended to do.”
“I’ve failed enough to know what works for me,” he continued. “I’ve learned pain is temporary but quitting is permanent. I try to incorporate that theme everywhere in my life.”
As a reminder, those finishing the event have the option to continue throughout July, repeating the Lazyman each month plus “add-on challenges.” Each month will get progressively harder as extra challenges add up and carry on to the next month. Here is a breakdown of each month’s additional challenges:
- March adds 26.2 miles on an elliptical.
- April will have participants completing all of March events (Lazyman Triathlon plus 26.2 miles on the elliptical) along with 2,000 floors on a stair mill.
- May adds 50,000 meters on the rower to all the events completed in April.
- June adds 23,035 feet on the Jacob’s ladder to all the events done in May.
- For the finale, July adds the completion of the Murph challenge to all the events done in June. The Murph consists of a 1 mile run, 300 body squats, 200 push-ups, 100 pull-ups and a final 1 mile run. Competitors will schedule the Murph with the gym staff only after completing the rest of the events and will be given one hour to finish it.
50th FSS’s next event is the St. Paddy’s Day Run, March 15. For more information, call the fitness center at 567-6658.