Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Schriever Sentinel

Cork wins trifecta

U.S. Air Force photo/Chris DeWitt Matthew Cork, 3rd Space Experimentation Squadron flight commander, swims backstroke for the 400 meter portion of the triathlon at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Friday, Aug. 4, 2017. This was Cork’s second time competing in this Schriever event, and he finished first with a time of 1:13:46.
U.S. Air Force photo/Chris DeWitt Matthew Cork, 3rd Space Experimentation Squadron flight commander, swims backstroke for the 400 meter portion of the triathlon at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Friday, Aug. 4, 2017. This was Cork’s second time competing in this Schriever event, and he finished first with a time of 1:13:46.

By Halle Thornton

50th Space Wing Public Affairs

Matthew Cork, 3rd Space Experimentation Squadron flight commander, placed first in the 13th annual Schriever triathlon Aug. 4 with a time of 1:13:46.

Cork’s first Schriever triathlon was in 2016, where he finished second.

“Triathlons are challenging as they force participants to pace themselves across three distinct disciplines,” he said. “If you burn up in any one, the rest of the race will prove difficult.”

There were a total of nine participants who completed the competition, and they had the opportunity to compete individually or in a three-person team. Three individuals and two teams competed.

Athletes gathered at the Tierra Vista Community pool for the swim portion of the race. Each competitor had to complete eight laps in the pool, totaling 400 meters.

Next was the 40 kilometer bike around the base perimeter, where the two three-man teams swapped out competitors. Finally, the competition ended with a 5 kilometer run.

Seth Cannello, 50th Force Support Squadron fitness center director, was concerned about the quality of the course because of the rain.

“The route was very wet and muddy Wednesday when I inspected the course,” Cannello said. “However, it didn’t rain as hard as predicted, so the route wasn’t too bad. We normally take participants around the entire base perimeter, but I decided to do an out and back on the east side of the base this year due to standing water on the west side.”

Cannello continued to say he appreciated all the help the 50th Civil Engineering Squadron provided in preparation for the triathlon.

“They put down some dirt and sand in a couple of bad areas, which really helped,” he said. “I also appreciated 50 CES spraying for mosquitos before the event. The mosquitos have been a problem around the housing area, running track and base perimeter, but they weren’t really an issue.”

Allen LeVie, 50th Operations Group first sergeant, competed as part of a team, along with Justin Halterman, 4th Space Operations Squadron first sergeant and Joseph Hardy, 50th Network Operations Group first sergeant, who finished first in the team category with a time of 1:25:35.

LeVie decided to sign up for the event after his friends convinced him.

“Two other crazy people said ‘hey, let’s do this,’” he said.

This was LeVie’s first triathlon, and he took on the running portion of the event.

“I just run as part of the Air Force physical training program,” he said. “It’s just another way to stay fit.”

Ethan Peters, 50th Space Communications Squadron operations flight supervisor, competed as part of a team with Steven Mathews, 50 SCS chief enlisted manager, and Roberto Molineros, 50 SCS satellite control operator, who finished second in the team category with a time of 1:28:34.

U.S. Air Force photo/Chris DeWitt Matthew Cork, 3rd Space Experimentation Squadron flight commander, swims the 400 meter portion of the 13th annual triathlon at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Friday, Aug. 4, 2017. The triathlon also included a 40 kilometer bike ride and 5 kilometer run.

U.S. Air Force photo/Chris DeWitt
Matthew Cork, 3rd Space Experimentation Squadron flight commander, swims the 400 meter portion of the 13th annual triathlon at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Friday, Aug. 4, 2017. The triathlon also included a 40 kilometer bike ride and 5 kilometer run.

“It’s my first triathlon, and so far, I’m nailing the chair portion,” Peters said as he waited for his teammate to finish the biking portion.

“It’s just something to do,” he said. “Running is my hobby.”

Cannello said participants seemed to enjoy themselves, but hopes for a better turnout next year.

“I think they were appreciative of the opportunity,” he said. “I understand it’s hard to break away from work, but in my opinion, these events can really motivate participants to improve their health and increase mental well-being.”

Cork echoed Cannello’s sentiment.

“These 50th Force Support Squadron events have been a bright spot for me here at Schriever, and I would love to see increased participation in these events as I know there are some competitive folks out there,” he said.

“Our events are always free, and I would encourage anyone considering paying for a race to attempt one of our events before they sign up for an event downtown,” Cannello added.

The next race will be the annual half marathon, Oct. 6. To sign up, call 567-6658.

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