By Wendy Brown, Fort Bliss Bugle Managing Editor:
(El Paso, Texas, Oct. 12, 2017)
The 5th Annual Iron Soldier Sprint Triathlon here Saturday challenged about 200 members of the Fort Bliss and El Paso communities to complete a 400-meter swim, a 15-mile bike ride and a 5K run as fast as possible.
Marco Bustamante came in first with a time of 1 hour, 8 minutes and 7.3 seconds, and Theresa Henderson came in first in the women’s division with a time of 1:23:46. Meanwhile, team Por-Christ(ian), made up of John Harding and his daughter Gabby, 10, came in first in the relay division and second overall with a time of 1:12:43.1. Gabby nailed the swim with a time of 6:45 (beating Bustamante’s swim time by 8 seconds), while her father blazed through the bike ride and the run.
The event, which began at 7:30 a.m. and was open to the public, took place with sunny skies and temperatures that ranged from 66 to 76 degrees.
“I thought the triathlon was well organized, coordinated and resourced,” said Lear Riojas, a Fort Bliss Soldier who competed. “It was very easy to register and participate.”
Salvador Rocha, who assisted with the race as facility manager of the Joshua W. Soto Physical Fitness Center, said the triathlon went well and FMWR officials have received many positive comments about how they organized the event.
“Everything we do behind the scenes, it’s always about the safety of the participants – especially for a triathlon,” Rocha said. “And everything we do is for the Soldiers. It’s all about Soldiers having fun.”
FMWR officials plan on holding the event again next year, Rocha said.