SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
The overcast skies may have cooled things down, but that didn’t stop the 25 competitors from heating up the course during the 12th annual Schriever Air Force Base Triathlon here Friday.
Zach Owen, 3rd Space Experimentation Squadron, finished with the top overall time for the event, 53:30, four minutes ahead of Matt Cork (57:36), 50th Operations Support Squadron, and 12 minutes in front of Scott Silver (1:05:39), Missile Defense Agency.
Competitors completed a 400-meter swim, followed by a 12-mile bike ride before finishing the event with a 3.1-mile run.
Unlike his win in the duathlon where he said he forgot he was racing due to the nice weather, Owen said he had to stay focused this time.
“I was working to stay warm,” Owen laughed. “I do like the sun.”
Cork may have been able to make the race closer if not for a critical error. Cork left his running shoes at the pool instead of bringing them to the bike-run transition point. He rode back to the pool to get them, but the detour cost him precious minutes.
“Matt is in fantastic shape,” Owen said. “He’s a fast kid and has been training at 11,000 feet.”
Christine Pasun, 50 OSS, competing in her first triathlon, took top female honors with a time of 1:35:23. She finished more than five minutes in front of Krystal Conkling (1:47:46), 50th Space Wing.
“I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it,” Pasun said. “Biking is not part of my regular (workout) routine. I actually had to use my husband’s bike.”
Pasun said she took a “comfortable and steady” approach to the event. The strategy was best displayed in the pool where Pasun took long, relaxed strokes while swimming instead of the quick powerful approach used by other competitors.
“I didn’t want to sandbag (during the swim), but I didn’t go all out either,” Pasun said.
In addition to male and female competitors, three teams also participated in the event. Team DMOC-Space, Dan Bridgwater, Jan Barglowski and Mike Russell, finished first among the teams with a combined time of 1:25:58. Team Honey Badgers, Stefanie Coward, Jason Moore and Collin Greiser, 3SES, (1:29:24) finished second with Team 6 SOPS, Jeffrey Roberson, John Halter and Uriah Nomura, (1:36:31) coming in third.
While changing shoes at the bike-run transition, Owen spotted another pair of shoes and briefly thought about having some fun with another competitor. The shoes belonged to his son, Wyatt.
“Are these Wyatt’s? Should I hide them or take them with me,” Owen joked before leaving the shoes and heading off on his run.
He said after the event he enjoys being able to compete with Wyatt, who finished 5th with a time of 1:11:49, in events like the triathlon.
“Neither of us are the most coordinated,” he said. “But our bodies do stuff like this OK.”
Owen said having Wyatt participate in the monthly fitness center events not only pushes his body, but also demonstrates the benefits of working hard. One day, he may have to settle for finishing behind Wyatt during one of these events.
“That definitely concerns me,” Owen said. “He’s already proud he’s taller than me.”
The fitness center will host the annual combine event, which will put competitors through a NFL-style skills test, Sept. 9 before heading back out to the running trails for the half marathon Oct. 14.
For more information about fitness center events, call 567-6628.