Triathlon? No Problem...

Story Number: NNS170502-39Release Date: 5/2/2017 1:05:00 PM
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By Eric Sesit, Naval Health Clinic Cherry Point Public Affairs

CHERRY POINT, N.C. (NNS) -- Ever think about running a 10 kilometer race? Maybe running is not your thing, so perhaps a 40 kilometer bike ride will do the trick... unless your knees can't handle peddling for a few hours. Maybe swimming is your preferred choice of exercise. Think you can swim 1,500 meters?

For most of us, any of the above exercises by themselves would constitute a substantial workout, but not for Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Petty Officer Jacob Naumann. One day, about three months ago, he decided to do all three in one session by competing in the White Lake International Triathlon April 22. And, not only did he finish; he took first place in the 20 to 24, male age group.

Not all triathlons are the same. Most of us are probably familiar with the Ironman Triathlon where participants swim 2.4 miles, bike for 112 miles and run a full 26.2 mile marathon. The White Lake Triathlon is considered an Olympic event which sets the swim at .93 mile, the bike ride at 24.8 miles and the run at 6.2 miles.

"This is the first Triathlon I've entered," Naumann said. "White Lake is actually near my home town of Fayetteville, North Carolina, so I was aware of the race, but never really paid much attention to it. It was pretty much on a whim that I decided to enter."

Naumann works at Naval Health Clinic Cherry Point in the Materiel Management department. His previous tour was aboard USS McFaul (DDG 74) where he served as an undesignated seaman in deck department and earned his Surface Warfare designation.

"I keep myself in pretty good shape and scored outstanding on my PRT," Naumann said. "So I was fairly confident that I could complete the race... I wasn't concentrating about being competitive as much as just finishing."

Naumann didn't spend a lot of time preparing for this triathlon.

"I guess I started working out seriously for the race about three months ago, about the same time I decided to enter it," Naumann said.

"We have a very good command fitness program at NHCCP," Naumann said. "I was able to take advantage of the bicycle Spin classes and I also ride my bike to and from work every day, so I felt very comfortable during the bicycle portion of the race.

"We also play water polo as part of command PT, which is really intense. That, along with my own workouts in the pool prepared me for the swim. Since I had not done any long pool sessions, the first few workouts in the pool were fairly difficult."

Race day came and when the starter's gun fired, Naumann entered the chilly White Lake water in a borrowed wetsuit. "I think I would have done better without the wetsuit," Naumann said. "It provided a lot of buoyancy, but I believe it slowed me down."

He left the water with a time of 31:32... nowhere near the best time for his age group. Undaunted, he jumped on his bicycle and headed out for the 25 mile bike ride, which he finished in 1:30:12. At this point he was nowhere near the lead pack, so there was only one thing to do. Run!

"During the race I had no concept of where any of my competitors were," Naumann said. "I just concentrated on reeling in the next runner in front of me and passing him. Then I would concentrate on catching the next one, and the next one after that."

He finished the 10K run in 54:30 for a total race time of 3:01:07.

Satisfied to have completed the race, Naumann spent the next hour cooling down and stretching and was about to head home when the awards ceremony began. When the announcer called his name for taking first place in the men's 20-24 age group, he was the most surprised person in the crowd. He finished 76th overall.

"I got a coffee cup for taking first," Naumann said. "Probably the best coffee cup I ever received."

Naumann will be moving to his new duty station at Camp Lejeune later this year where he will be assigned to the 2nd Division, 8th Marines. He also plans on entering a triathlon this year, where the distances all double.

"I might have to train a bit more for the next one," Naumann smiled.

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