Soldier wins military division of Iron Man triathlon

By SSgt. Mike MearsOctober 12, 2010

Military division winner
Capt. Robert Killian, a signal officer with the 2nd Battalion, 185th Division, Colorado National Guard, speeds by the crowd after transitioning from the water to the bike while competing in the Iron Man Triathlon World Championship, Oct. 9, en route... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

KONA-KAILUA, Hawaii (Oct. 12, 2010) -- An Army captain finished first in the military division of the 2010 Iron Man Triathlon World Championships held in Kona-Kailua, Hawaii, Oct. 9.

More than 1,800 competitors completed what is considered one of the hardest individual sports in the world while in Hawaii for the annual Triathlon World Championships. There were 55 countries represented across various categories to include pro, age and military divisions.

U. S. Army Capt. Robert Killian, a signal officer with 2nd Battalion, 185th Division, Colorado National Guard, finished first in the military male division with a time of 9 hours, 30 minutes and 50 seconds.

Killian works with computers, telecommunications, network administration, setting up servers and encrypting radios, but this triathlon offered some challenges for him away from the military.

"I'm a natural runner, but I needed to work on my biking and swimming for this event in order to be in contention," said Killian. "I've been biking 300-400 miles a week and running every day," he added. "With work it's hard, but I get up and swim every morning in addition to everything else."

The triathlon is a three-part race that involves a 2.4 mile swim, followed by a 112 mile bike ride and finally ends with a treacherous 26.2 mile marathon that is both a mental and physical challenge.

"This course is so much different than other courses, due to the heat and you just have to battle through it," said Killian. "When you're out there on the lava rock, you're all alone with your bike and it can be hard because if something goes wrong with the bike, you have to fix it on your own or you may not finish."

This was Killian's fourth Iron Man competition, but second time at Kona, Hawai, for the World Championship.

According to rules and regulations, in order to be selected, a person must run in at least one mini-marathon and participate in several long-run competitions.

"Being selected for this event was really exciting, because only one guy can be chosen to represent the U. S. Army," said Killian.