NEWS | May 9, 2008

JTF-Bravo team participates in Bay Islands Triathlon

By Tech. Sgt. John Asselin Joint Task Force-Bravo public affairs

A team from Joint Task Force-Bravo traveled from Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras, to Roatan Island to participate in the Bay Islands Triathlon May 5.

Out of the 28 participants, 22 placed in events at the race, including six first-place finishes (including the relay team), nine second-place finishes and five in third place. All participants finished their races, including one person who ran with a broken foot.

"I made a commitment to JTF-Bravo and myself [to run the Triathlon] and I was going to fulfill that commitment," said Air Force Capt. Manny Silveira, who ran the race in combat boots to provide support for his broken foot. "At the half-way point of the bike portion, I told myself that I was not going to complete the run, but when I got to the transition point I thought that if I had gone this far I must press on and finish. Finishing this triathlon was more rewarding than any of the others I have done."

For some participants, it was their first time running in any triathlon; others were veterans of the course.

"This was my first triathlon ever," said Army Col. (Dr.) Stephen Bernstein. "I heard it is one of the more difficult courses, but wanted to take advantage of the training to prepare for it. It was a phenomenal experience. I was worn out, beat down, dehydrated, drained physically, but mentally thrilled to have finished. I was ecstatic."

"This was my second time doing this course so I knew what I was getting into," said Army Capt. Stacy Snyder. "The highlights for me were throwing up after pushing my bike up that first steep hill, going back down that same hill with no back wheel break, being chased by a dog that belonged to some of the spectators and, of course, when I crossed the finish line still alive!"

Each person had their own reason for running the race, including Army Sgt. 1st Class David Kearney, who is recovering from knee surgery.

"I used this event as a physical challenge to push myself both mentally and physically in my recovery from the surgery," he said. "The event itself was more of a mental challenge than physical in my case. The events individually can be attacked and overcome by anyone with the desire; however, once you work them one right after another your mental toughness is definitely called into play. If a 255 pound, 40-year-old sergeant first-class can finish third in his division and overcome the physical and mental barriers, anyone can."