Security company Marines take on Catoctin Mountain Triathon

20 Jul 2005 | Cpl. Earnest J. Barnes

In 1974, the first official triathlon was conceived and directed in San Diego just miles away from the west coast Marine Corps Recruit Depot.  Since then, the sporting event has spread from coast to coast of the United States and globally.  Leathernecks and Sailors of Marine Security Company and the Naval Support Facility in Thurmont, Md., held a triathlon of their own July 20, 2005.

The Catoctin Mountain Triathlon was a sprint distance triathlon or commonly called the “short course.”

“The triathlon gave us a chance to have a little fun,” said Lance Cpl. Anthony M. Madonia with MSC.  “It really gave us a break from our busy schedules.”

Marines and Sailors started the event with a 500-meter swim in Hunting Creek Lake, where they paddled their way across the body of water to a beached area.  One-by-one each service member emerged from the water and made their way to the gear to change for the next portion of the race.

After the triathletes dried off, the participants put biking shoes on and were away in a hurried manner to complete the 10-kilometer biking portion.  The very beginning of the biking portion took a toll on them with three miles up the side of the Catoctin Mountain.  As the Marines and Sailors headed back down the mountain, they met sharp curves and winding roads until the last one-quarter-mile stretch to the transition area for the final portion of the triathlon.  

“That was one of the toughest rides I’ve ever done,” said Navy Lt. Michael E. Foskett, Marine Barracks Chaplin.  “It definitely separated the men from the boys.”

Showing fatigue from the pervious two exercises, Marines and Sailors stepped off to face the final portion of the triathlon—which was a five-kilometer run.  Nearly the same scenario stood true for the running portion as it did the biking; uphill. 

Breathing heavily with looks of pain on their faces, all the participants put every bit of energy they had left in their bodies toward the run.  The extended effort paid off step-by-step as each participant ran down the last hill, through the straightaway and across the finish line4

“I thoroughly enjoyed myself,” said Navy Lt. Jeffery W. Sherwood, Naval

Support Facility.  “It was an outstanding opportunity to improve the command’s physical fitness.”

Shortly after everyone finished the race, awards were handed out to the winners of the triathlon.  The awards were given out in two different categories;

Which were teams and individual participants.

Overall race results stood with MSC in first place for the team category.  Lance Cpl. Daniel P. Juda with MSC, took first place in the Individual category, followed by the second-place winner, Sherwood and then by third-place winner, Foskett.

“It was a good race because I was personally racing against the MCS team,” said Juda.  “I felt good after the race, the first thing I thought about when I crossed the finish line was, ‘Did I break the course record.’”

Juda did not break the course record, but with his first place medal he gained bragging rights until next year’s Catoctin Mountain Triathlon.