Polk Soldier pushes body beyond normal limits

By Chuck Cannon, Fort Polk Guardian staff writerJuly 10, 2009

Fort Polk Soldier pushes body beyond normal limits
Capt. Robert Killian, 5th Battalion, 25th Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, races to the finish line during the run portion of a triathlon pitting teams from each of the branches of the U.S. military. Killian, a mem... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT POLK, La. -- Some folks like to take a leisurely jog, bicycle ride or short swim to work off excess energy or stay in shape. Not many do all three - back-to-back-to-back - for fun.

Then again, not many people - or Soldiers - are like Capt. Robert Killian, 5th Battalion, 25th Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division.

Killian is a member of the All-Army triathlon team and recently won a silver medal for finishing in second place during an event featuring top triathletes from all branches of the U.S. military. The event was held in Point McGoo, Calif., and consisted of a 40-K bike race, 10-K run and 1,500-meter swim in the ocean.

"The competition included teams from the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Canadian forces," Killian said. "It was pretty grueling."

But not as grueling as what Killian has planned.

"I'm trying to qualify for the All-Army Iron Man team," Killian said.

That event includes a 26.2-mile run, 2.5-mile swim and 112-mile bicycle race.

"I enjoy pushing my body," Killian said. "It's why I also competed in the Best Ranger competition this year."

If you're out of breath at this point, just wait - Killian has more.

"I competed on the All-Army Cross Country team this year and finished third," Killian said. "I was also the coach of the Fort Polk Ten-Miler team in 2005-2006."

Tired yet' Killian's not. In June he competed in the Indian Creek Triathlon in Alexandria and finished second. He's also working toward making the All-Army Cycling team. Killian said he could not have achieved success without support from his unit.

"They let me take time off to do PT (physical training) by myself," he said. "I always max my PT test and won the Iron Person award at my officer's basic course."

Killian has been at Fort Polk five years and said he hit the ground running when he arrived. Except for a tour in Iraq from 2007-2008, he's spent his time working toward making All-Army athletic teams. Even in Iraq, Killian said he found an opportunity to compete in a race.

"I finished third in the Army Ten-Mile Shadow Run at Camp Victory in Iraq," he said.

For now, Killian said he would continue to work toward making the All-Army Iron Man team. He sees himself as an ambassador when the team travels to competitions around the nation.

"I enjoy representing the Army because I get to spread the word about the Army, my unit and Fort Polk," he said. "The military is a wonderful career and I enjoy letting everyone know what it has to offer."