FORT HOOD — Temperatures around 60 degrees made it a perfect day for the Sprint Triathlon, held Saturday at Fort Hood’s Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area.
The event, sponsored by Fort Hood Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, brought together approximately 100 athletes ages 9 and up.
Participants began by swimming 300 meters in the lake, with water at 79 degrees. From there, they grabbed their bicycles from the staging area, riding a total of 12 miles around the park and Fort Hood.
The last leg of the race involved a 5K run along the lake’s shoreline.
Officers and enlisted personnel were among the competitors, as well as college students and local residents.
“You don’t know how hard you can push your body until you do,” said Lt. Col. Amit Bhavsar, one of the competitors.
Training programs for the participants ranged from daily jogs to biking West Fort Hood or swimming with the Fort Hood Dolphins.
Spectators encouraged their favorites with cheers, applause and even cow bells.
A sprint triathlon is slightly less than half of a full/Olympic triathlon, with each split — or leg of the race — timed. The purpose was not necessarily to gauge progress against the other competitors, since each participant started individually, at 10 second intervals.
While a lot of energy was spent completing the course, many of the athletes confirmed it was lots of fun.