Winter swim season opens with triathlon
December 16, 2011
The bubble is inflated, and swimmers and athletes are getting in the habit of heading to Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall's Zembiec Pool.
Closed since Labor Day for upgrades, the pool reopened Dec. 5 in time for the first-ever Five Days of Iron triathlon which runs from Dec. 12-16. After the unofficial end of summer, aesthetic and cost-saving construction projects began at the pool. A new liner was added to the pool bottom, a shading structure was installed near the baby pool area and the filtration system was changed from a chlorine to a salt water system.
According to Laura Guthrie, assistant manager at Zembiec Pool, the new filtration system will be healthier and will be cheaper than a pure chlorine set-up. During the second week of the pool's cold weather season, the facility is home to the FDoI triathlon. The athletic endeavor is an honor system competition in which participants swim 850 yards (17 laps), bike 22.5 miles and run 5.25 miles each day of the five-day event. Times will be recorded by the athletes, and at the end of the week, those who logged the required distances each day will have finished the triathlon and will be awarded a T-shirt.
"The beauty of this is there is no time limit; as long as you do the distances here at [Joint Base Myer-] Henderson Hall, you're good," Guthrie said of the triathlon. Besides the triathlon, other fitness programs are available at the pool.
In addition to the Monday-through-Thursday aqua aerobics class, the pool is home to a Friday aqua jogging session. "The aqua jogging is a new class we are doing," Guthrie said. "It is done in the deep end and is for injured active duty to rehabilitate."
There is no admission fee to enter the pool and is available to active duty military personnel and their Family members, retirees and their Family members, and DoD civilians and their Family members.
With a current air temperature inside the protective bubble at 82 degrees and the water temperature in the 79- to 82-degree range, Zembiec Pool is open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.