Altus Airmen take on triathlon, AF marathon

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Eugene Bird
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
How long does it taketo run a 26.2-mile marathon? 

"Four months," said Master Sgt. Roque Urena, 97th Medical Support Squadron. "Four months of long, long training!" 

Sergeant Urena and Capt. Marie Han, Flight Surgeon, seem convinced that someone who has only run a couple of miles in the past can train to run a marathon in four months. They have recruited a team from the Medical Group to participate in the Air Force Marathon at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio,Sept. 17. 

It's a permissive TDY, meaning they pay for their own lodging and entry fee, but space available transportation originating at Altus AFB will provide them a free ride.
Commanders and young airmen are representing the expeditionary medics. Airman 1st Class Brendan Brustad is the only airman running the whole marathon. 

"I've been running about four months," said Airman Brustad. "Being 'fit to fight' is more than scoring a hundred on one's fitness test. The Air Force wants us to go above and beyond, and this is above and beyond our fitness requirements." 

"I've always wanted to run a marathon, and when Sergeant Urena approached me, I decided to jump on the opportunity. We've been training ever since." he said.


Airmen at Thursday's practice run had these comments:
"Long-distance running burns fat and doesn't require the muscles built by sprinters. Long distance runners don't run on 'full power' as sprinters do."
"Increasing three to five miles per week, as is common in training for marathons, can cause knee pain and other injuries. Get adequate rest, and stretch before running. Run with a partner if possible."
"Running on a hot day seriously degrades performance and stresses the body. Try running in the early morning or late evening."

For those who wish to build up to such events, each quarter the fitness center holds a triathlon consisting of swimming eight laps of the pool, cycling five miles and running three miles. The next will be held Sept. 15. 

The last triathlon was held Aug. 25. The top finishers (in order) were: Chuck Metzgar (35 minutes), Arnold Rieder, Elbert Laza, Kelly Carlton, Jason Glover, Kyle Moats, Max Carrizales, Andrew Wollenzin, Matthew Henfey and Virgil McVea (54 minutes).