FORT BENNING, Ga., (March 5, 2014) -- Fort Benning's Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation sports program has a number of races to meet the variety of needs of athletes on just about every level, said Ken Wetherill, sports director for DFMWR.

"We just encourage folks to come out and participate in the events," he said.

The upcoming race series that includes the 2014 Chesty Puller Half-Marathon Trail Run, Chattahoochee Challenge Half Triathlon, Reverse Sprint Triathlon, the Chattahoochee Challenge Sprint Triathlon and Duathlon, the Chattahoochee Challenge Olympic Triathlon, the Oktoberfest 10K Cross Country challenge and the Chattahoochee Challenge Adventure Race. All of these events are open to the public and most include prizes to top finishers in each division.

Fort Benning partnered with Tricolumbus, a sports firm specializing in event production, to create the very big race series, in order to create a better sense of community, Wetherill said.

"(The race community is) a great group of folks - they are out there to support each other. And it really is just about your health and having fun," he said.

But don't be intimidated by those who have been training for longer. Wetherill said it's more important to just be active.

"People need to not worry about what anybody thinks because most people will give you credit for just being out there to begin with ... (there's always a) fear-factor of saying, 'I don't want to be last," he said.

"You entered, you finished, don't worry about where you came in. And that's our big thing, here at Fort Benning we have a lot of competitive athletes and we have a lot of respect for them. But, we also have our new athletes and I have a tremendous amount of respect for them ... and at least they are doing something."

For those new to training and exercising, Wetherill suggests speaking to a health-care professional first.

Wetherill said not everyone is destined for the Olympics, but that's OK. Sometimes it's more important to train for your health. So don't expect to place on your first marathon.

"Put your phone down, turn off your computer, put your games away and go do something," he said. "You'll watch what it evolves into and for a lot of people it evolves into a lifestyle change."

For more information about the race series, call 706-505-7759 or 706-527-2275. Get registered by going to the Smith Fitness Center or visiting www.active.com.

Page last updated Wed March 5th, 2014 at 00:00