J.P. Aragon was the runner for the relay team Team Titans and finished first with a time of four hours, nine minutes and 15 seconds Saturday in Columbus. The Half Triathlon is the first of eight race series that is host by Fort Benning and TriColumbus.

FORT BENNING, Ga., (April 30, 2014) -- Although the Chattahoochee Challenge Series has been around since 2011, this is the first year TriColumbus partnered with the Directorate of Morale and Welfare, Family and Recreation's Sports, Fitness and Equatics program.

The eight-event series kicked off it's first event - the Half Triathlon - Saturday with about 450 participants.

The Half Triathlon featured a 1.2 mile swim in the Chattahoochee River, a 56-mile bike course through historic Columbus and Fort Benning and a 13.1 mile run in Columbus.

"Health and fitness is becoming such an important part of our community," said Joanne Cogle, race director. "We wanted to involve the Fort Benning community. (It's) bridging the gap between Fort Benning and the Columbus community."

Cogle said it was important for all participants to have a good time and enjoy the historic areas of Columbus.

"We're looking forward to people from all over the U.S and the community to come to Columbus and enjoy what it has to offer," she said about the series.

The top relay team was Team Titans, who finished first with a total time of four hours, nine minutes and 15 seconds. The top individual finisher, Donny Autore from Tallahassee, Fla., came in second with a time of 4:18:58.

Autore has been cycling for 20 years and running and swimming for a year, he said.

"It's a great course," he said. "I'm just happy I didn't get hurt."

He said he trained by doing a moderate amount of running, but lots of cycling and swimming.

J.P Aragon, the runner for Team Titan, said it was a beautiful day to run and he was glad to come out on top, but that it took a team effort.

"(I did) many years of training, but for this one - consistent speed work and some long-distance running," he said, adding that before the triathlon, he mainly competed in marathons.

His teammates included cyclist Chris Icenberg and swimmer Ramone Valle. All three are from Georgia and trained for the race in their individual disciplines.

"It's (about) making sure we know where each other's at and that we have a smooth transition. That's the key," Icenberg said.

The next event in the series is the Reverse Sprint Triathlon, which starts at 8 a.m. May 17. For more information about registration and other races, visit www.benningmwr.com or www.tricolumbusga.com.

Page last updated Tue April 29th, 2014 at 17:38