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Lazyman Triathlon has multiple benefits

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Patrons of the Schriever Air Force Base Fitness Center may find that the treadmills and stationary bikes are in short supply during the month of February.

That's because Team Schriever members will be participating in the 14th annual Lazyman Triathlon.

"The Lazyman Triathlon is one of, if not the largest, monthly sporting events we offer," said Seth Cannello, Schriever sports and fitness center director. "I typically have 150 to 250 people register, with approximately 80 to 100 people completing the required distances."

The Lazyman Triathlon offers participants a chance to complete the elements of a traditional Ironman Triathlon, 26.2 mile run, 112 mile bike and 2.4 mile swim, during the course of 28 days instead of 17 hours. The use of treadmills and stationary bikes is allowed; however, recumbent bikes and elliptical machines cannot be used to complete the event. Only housing residents are able to use the Tierra Vista Community Pool for the swim portion of the event.  All others will have to find an alternate location to complete the swimming element of the triathlon.

"The Lazyman Triathlon doesn't sound too hard but it catches people off guard," Cannello said. "They really have to plan their workouts throughout the month in order to successfully complete the competition.  Typically, it takes most participants the entire month to complete the events a 'true' Ironman only has 17 hours to finish.  I think it truly shows participants just how daunting an Ironman Triathlon really is."

Vince Guischard, satellite engineer with Engility Corporation, is a 10-year veteran of the Lazyman who echoed Cannello's assessment.

"It sounds like a month is much time to complete the events," Guischard said. "However, time does sneak up on you, and you have to ensure you remain true to your goal to complete all the allotted events in the month."

The strategy that has worked best to help Guischard complete all elements of the triathlon has been to try and participate in at least two of the events each day. For example, he said that he'll try to swim and run one day, and bike and swim the next day.

"If you can find someone to complete the event with you, it makes the experience even better," he added. "The bonding and sense of accomplishment for you and your partner is amazing."

Another multi-year veteran of the Lazyman, Vanessa Shawver, U.S. Northern Command, said she tries to organize a group of co-workers to compete with each other.

"I've found that competition and camaraderie are two of the best ways to get others off the sofa and moving their bodies," Shawver said.

Guischard said that an added benefit to the Lazyman is that it creates a variation to the normal workout routine, and creates new challenges.

"This event allows me to vary (my routine) and challenge myself, especially in the pool," Guischard said. "Usually the event forces variety in my workouts well into March or April before I settle back into my 'normal' workouts."

Shawver, a former fitness trainer, said cross-training helps to prevent injury and eliminate boredom during workout routines.

"I've done the Lazyman for the last several years because it consistently drives me to remain engaged in a variety of disciplines, while I typically only run," she said.

Participants will receive five Commander Cup points upon completion of the event and a free T-shirt.  This year, for the first time, individuals who register and don't finish will be docked five Commander Cup points. 

Cannello said that he will begin docking points for all the fitness center's monthly sporting events so that individuals are more accountable and committed to showing up for whatever competition they registered for. 

Department of Defense civilians, contractors, active duty, retirees and dependents are eligible to register. Those wishing to register for the Lazyman can do so by emailing Cannello. Registrations must be received by Feb. 9.

Once registered, participants will receive a "calculator" that will be used to log their mileage.  The calculator, when completed, has to be returned to Cannello before March 6.
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