By Nick DukeMay 15, 2013
FORT BENNING, Ga., (May 15, 2013) -- More than 100 triathletes took to the streets of Fort Benning Saturday for the annual Reverse Sprint Triathlon, which consisted of a 5K run, 20K bike ride and 550-meter swim.
In the end, two individuals with ties to the 3rd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, took home both the top male and top female awards.
John Leatherman won the top male award and finished first overall among all competitors with a time of 1:03:24.
"It was fun and it was a good event, so I definitely want to give a big thanks to all the people putting it on and out here volunteering on a Saturday morning," Leatherman said.
Caitlin Dorgan finished with a time of 1:05:18, good for first among females and sixth overall.
Dorgan was visiting her boyfriend, Gerard Sclafani of the 3rd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, and said she decided to try her first reverse sprint triathlon while here.
"It was the first one I've done, and it was a lot of fun," she said. "It was different."
Dorgan, who is training to turn pro later this year, said she was happy to get the win, even if it wasn't her primary goal.
"A win is always nice, but I just came out to enjoy myself and do it for the love of the sport," Dorgan said. "That's what gets me out."
Both Leatherman and Dorgan said the final leg of the reverse sprint triathlon, the 550-meter swim, was tough because of the cool water temperatures.
"Jumping in that chilly water was a nice little shock," Leatherman said. "I was doing those lanes back and forth, and you have the chance to see the people behind you as you go, so I thought for a second there I was doomed, but I managed to hold them off for a little bit."
Dorgan said the water temperature was the lone unpleasant part of the event.
"The shock of the water temperature of the pool was pretty bad, but other than that the course was really great," she said. "The run was, for the most part, flat and fast. The bike was rolling hills, which were challenging, but still pretty fast. The pool swim was nice, but tiring at the end of the race."
Leatherman was sitting in third place at the end of the 5K run, but by the end of the 20K bike ride, he had built a lead that proved to be insurmountable.
"Going from the run to the bike was probably the toughest part because there's some phenomenal guys out there that I had to try to catch up to and then stay ahead of," Leatherman said.
Dorgan, meanwhile, led all females at the end of the 5K run and did not relinquish the lead for the rest of the event.
"I finished with a pretty good time," she said. "It's still the beginning of the season and I'm just getting back from an injury as well, so it's a pretty good time considering the circumstances."