• Members of AVC3 and some of their pets begin the ruck march portion of the Iron Aviator competition at Lake Tholocco July 22. Capt. Scott Christie finished first in the individual portion with a time of 1:57:55 and Team 2 won the team portion with 1:50:11.

    AVC3 Soldiers compete for ‘Iron Aviator’ title

    Members of AVC3 and some of their pets begin the ruck march portion of the Iron Aviator competition at Lake Tholocco July 22. Capt. Scott Christie finished first in the individual portion with a time of 1:57:55 and Team 2 won the team portion with...

  • Capt. Sam Russo, Team 2 member, finishes the ruck march portion of the Iron Aviator competition at Lake Tholocco Friday. His team finished first with a time of 1:50:11.

    AVC3 Soldiers compete for ‘Iron Aviator’ title

    Capt. Sam Russo, Team 2 member, finishes the ruck march portion of the Iron Aviator competition at Lake Tholocco Friday. His team finished first with a time of 1:50:11.

FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Despite oppressive heat and humidity, members of the Aviation Captains Career Course competed against each other and themselves to prove who had what it takes to be called an “Iron Aviator” at Lake Tholocco July 22.

Six teams and seven individuals competed for the title, with Capt. Scott Christie finishing first in the individual competition with a time of 1:57:55 and Team 2 finishing with a time of 1:50:11.

The competition consisted of four events: a 4.5-mile ruck march, an 8.8-mile bike ride, 2-mile run and 300-meter swim.

The participants had the choice of competing as part of a team or as an individual. Some chose to do both.

The winning competitors said the course wasn’t easy in the first place, but factoring in the heat and humidity made it that much harder.

“The hardest part was at the beginning with the ruck march,” Christie said. “After a little bit, the heat was significant. I just had to keep my legs moving and go into survival mode. So long as I kept moving, I was fine.”

Christie said things didn’t slow down for him until he hit the water near the end of the competition.

“Once I was in the water, I started to notice things starting to cramp up a little more, but I just pushed through it,” he said. “I just kept pushing from buoy to buoy and made it to the end. I didn’t even notice if any other individual competitors were around me as I was going.”

Members of the top team said it was all about team work and that some of the course was tougher than they imagined it would be.

“I’m not a swimmer at all,” said Capt. Scott Martin. “I volunteered for it, but I didn’t think it would be that tough. I changed up my swimming style a couple times in order to keep myself from getting too tired.”

Capt. Sam Fjellanger took on the biking portion of the race for his team and said that parts of the course were tougher than others.

“The first part was pretty smooth, going over the asphalt,” he said. “Once we hit the gravel, it got pretty rough for a while. I saw Christie out in front of me at one point, but I was able to power ahead of him once we got back on the gravel portion.”

Maj. Mark Legaspi, AVC3 small group leader and event coordinator, said the event was a good way for the group to wind down as it prepares for graduation the first week of August. It’s also a fun competition for “bragging rights.”

“They pretty much do regular physical training to get ready for it,” he said. “It’s really just about being able to say who the real ‘Iron Aviator’ is. They also get a chance to show off their team work skills and leadership abilities, so it works on multiple levels.”

Page last updated Thu July 28th, 2011 at 09:46