By Angela Williams, Army Flier Staff WriterJune 21, 2012
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (June 21, 2012) -- The temperature was already rising as more than 200 participants took to the water in waves for the start of Fort Rucker's Army Strong Triathlon early June 16.
The race, held at Lake Tholocco's West Beach, started with a 400-meter swim, followed by a 10.6-mile bike ride, and ended with a 5k run.
"It was a beautiful day. The water was beautiful," said Capt. Sean Cattanach, A Co., 1st Bn., 145th Avn. Regt., who crossed the finish line with a time of 59:24. "The temperature was nice and the race was really well set up."
The winners for this year's Army Strong Triathlon were Chris Neudecker, overall male winner, with a time of 58:52; Frosty Henneberger, overall male master winner, with a time of 1:02:32; Dale Nash, overall male grandmaster winner, with a time of 1:02:37; Emily King, overall female winner, with a time of 1:01:39; Monica McCullion, overall female master winner, with a time of 1:16:27; and Nina Korges, overall female grandmaster winner, with a time of 1:24:30.
The first relay team to finish the race had a time of 52:15, and included Capt. Andrew Ackles, 1st Lt. Brendan Sullivan and 1st Lt. Layne Wilson, all of the Air Force 23rd Flying Training Squadron at Fort Rucker.
"I was on a good team and these guys got me way ahead," Ackles said minutes after completing the run. "It felt good."
"We just wanted to represent our squadron well," Wilson added.
The second relay team to finish the course included 2nd Lt. Ian Misaro, 2nd Lt. Joel Woodruff and 2nd Lt. Jonathan Argyle, all of B Co., 1st Bn., 145th Avn. Regt.
The three said they decided to do the triathlon as a team less than a week before the event.
"We went cycling last week and decided we had some pretty fast people," Misaro said. "I think the three of us wanted to do it but we didn't want to do the whole thing by ourselves."
Of 197 individuals and 15 teams that started the race, 149 participants and all 15 teams finished, said Kristi Fink, fitness programs manager at Fortenberry-Colton Physical Fitness Facility.
"Triathlon appeals to a wide variety of people because there are three different parts to it," she explained. "It changes it up and makes it even more challenging because you have to be able to swim, bike and then run."
The course at Fort Rucker is more challenging than some others, she said, because of the hills on the bike portion.
"It's nice to have the Soldiers and Families at an event that promotes health and fitness and to see their faces as the cross the finish line at such a challenging event," she said. "I enjoy it."
According to Fink, many different groups, including the Warrant Officer Career College, lifeguards, divers, military police, ambulance staff and the outdoor recreation staff worked together to make the event a reality.
"It's everybody coming together," she said. "It takes a lot of thinking to make everything fair."
King, the overall female winner, ran in last year's Army Strong Triathlon just weeks after arriving on post for flight school.
"It's nice to be here with the community and everyone I know as opposed to last year when I had just been on post a week or so," she said.
"MWR does such a good job putting these races on," she said. "It's always really fun."