U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. Ryan Edison, military police officer with 18th Wing Security Forces, competes in the biking portion of the 2019 Futenma Triathlon on Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Okinawa, Japan, Oct. 6, 2019. The triathlon is held in order to strengthen the relationship between U.S. service members and residents of Okinawa through athletic events. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Samuel Brusseau)
U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. Ryan Edison, military police officer with 18th Wing Security Forces, competes in the biking portion of the 2019 Futenma Triathlon on Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Okinawa, Japan, Oct. 6, 2019. The triathlon is held in order to strengthen the relationship between U.S. service members and residents of Okinawa through athletic events. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Samuel Brusseau)

Marine Corps Air Station Futenma hosts the 2019 triathlon

by Cpl. Samuel Brusseau
Marine Corps Installations Pacific

MCAS FUTENMA, OKINAWA, Japan – The starting line is crowded with racers on edge, eager to hear the signal to begin. Their eyes focus on the starting official as she counts down. The signal sounds, the timer starts, and off they go.

Marine Corps Community Services hosted a reverse triathlon Oct. 6 at Marine Corps Air Station Futema’s flight line.

Members of the local and U.S. communities participated alongside each other in the triathlon.
In a traditional triathlon, racers start with a swim, then move to a bike race, and end with a run. However, the reverse triathlon began with a 5-kilometer run, transitioned to a 15-kilometer bike race, and ended with a 300-meter swim.

Many of the participants enjoy taking part in events such as the triathlon. Many take the time to attend whenever possible as a hobby, and as part of a healthy lifestyle, according to Takahimi Nakamori, a triathlon participant, and local Okinawa resident.
“I enjoy athletic events,” said Mamoru. “The chance to do so with a group is most enjoyable because we have competition and a chance to exercise together, especially this year since there were a lot of good runners and bikers.”

Athletic events such as the triathlon serve as effective ways to build friendships with the surrounding community, according to Col. David Steele, commanding officer of MCAS Futenma, and competitor in the race.
“The people who participate in this kind of activity always enjoy doing it,” said Steele. “I know the Marines and their friends and spouses [are] having fun, but seeing the people of Okinawa out here with us, laughing and competing and all that, it puts a smile on my face.”

Winners were selected from the age groups of 12 to 17 years old, 18 to 29 years old, 30 to 39 years old, and 40 and above.

The first, second and third place members of each age group received plaques in honor of their achievement.
The overall winner of the event was Capt. Kristopher Ulbrich of Headquarters Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 3, with a time of 49 minutes, 58 seconds. The overall fastest female competitor was Cpl. Lauren Contreras with a time of 59 minutes, 33 seconds.

The mission of MCCS is to make Okinawa home by providing programs and services designed to meet the needs of Marines and their families.

For more information on events in your area please contact your local Marine and Family Programs office.

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