By Scott Prater
Imagine swimming two miles, jumping out of the water, hopping on a bike and riding for more than 100 miles. If that’s not enough, imagine finishing your day by running a complete 26.2 mile marathon.
Ironman triathletes complete all three events in a single day, but thanks to the Schriever Fitness Center, members and civilians here can experience the thrill of a triathlon over a more reasonable time frame.
A few years ago, Schriever Sports and Fitness Manager, Seth Cannello, decided he could give Air Force members here a taste of what Ironman Triathlon competitors experience. He called the event the “Lazyman Triathlon,” but that name can be somewhat deceiving. Anyway you look at it, the miles don’t run, swim or bike themselves.
Competitors swim 2.4 miles, bicycle for 112 miles and run for 26.2 miles, and they have the entire month of February to complete the feat. Most however, say the days seem to fly by in a flash. After all, February is the shortest month of the year.
Upon registering, participants received the exact mileage they needed to complete, plus a spreadsheet calculator they used to help track their progress.
The fitness center staff takes a hands-off approach.
Participants turn their paperwork in once they’ve completed the triathlon, but there are no ceremonies, trophies or placement announcements. Participant’s reward must come from within.
Mr. Cannello estimated 75 people registered for the event, but that roughly only 60 percent will actually complete it. Some will run their last few miles during the final hours of Feb. 28, while a few crossed an imaginary finish line the first week.
“We picked February as the month to host the Lazyman because most people make their resolutions in January,” Mr. Cannello said. “They typically stick with their resolutions for about a month and then kind of drop off after that. This event gives them something to shoot for and keeps them motivated to change their lifestyle, hopefully permanently.”
Sharon Scheetz, a 59-year-old veteran Lazyman Triathlon competitor, finished in two weeks.
“The last few times I took the whole month,” said the 50th Contracting Squadron civilian. “My goal next year is to complete it in one week. I’ve learned you can pretty much accomplish anything you set out to do with lots of determination and willpower.”
Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Jean Eisenhut, 3rd Space Operations Squadron commander, issued a commander’s challenge to her squadron, and as many as 25 3 SOPS members signed up as a result.
“The point was to hit our physical fitness from a positive perspective and get people excited about working out,” Colonel Eisenhut said. “More importantly, we want people to see how they can fit a workout in on a daily basis.”
2nd Lt. Daniel Bar, 4th Space Operations Squadron, says the event’s timing couldn’t be better.
“It’s a good challenge for February because it can all be done indoors and at your own pace,” he said. “I finished in one week and the most challenging part for me was the bike. I normally focus on running this time of year, but this was a nice change of pace. I just hopped on the spin bikes at the fitness center, put on a movie and kept putting in the miles.”
Mr. Cannello said the calculator provides an eye opener, especially for those who tend to track their workouts loosely.
“The spreadsheet calculator is extremely beneficial,” he said. “A lot of the time people start a program and think they’re working out a lot, but then they go back and look at the calculator and see the reality.”
In the past the Lazyman has provided motivation for people to move on to more challenging events, like a sprint triathlon, half marathon or marathon. Lieutenant Bar used the event to train for a 100-mile marathon he plans to run this August.
Colonel Eisenhut simply used it as a motivator for 3 SOPS members, even rewarding everyone who finished before her with a 1-day parking pass for the 3 SOPS commander’s spot.
So far, two 3 SOPS members have earned the pass.