Joint Base Lewis-McChord hosts Deuces Wild Triathlon

By Staff Sgt. Jennifer Spradlin on August 18, 2014

More than 175 athletes and challenge-seekers, civilian and military alike, gathered at Shoreline Park on Joint Base Lewis-McChord to tackle the JBLM Deuces Wild Triathlon Aug. 16.   

This year the triathlon event featured two distances, the sprint and Olympic, with individual and team categories. The race was split into a 500- or 1500-meter swim, a 14- or 25-mile bike ride, and a 5 or 10k run. 

"We hold these events as a fun, safe way to get the community involved and to offer a building block for those athletes looking to compete in officially sanctioned races," said Lizza Lockett, JBLM Morale, Welfare and Recreation intramural sports coordinator.

Locket said JBLM averages eight races per year, with a few extra races scheduled for this year, and that the feedback from the participants is always quite positive. She is hopeful that even more people from JBLM and the surrounding communities will come out to support the events.     

"The base has beautiful, natural scenery; for instance, the lake here, and bike routes that take you all over - people can discover things they didn't even know existed when they're participating in our events," she said.

>>> Participants in the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Deuces Wild Triathlon surface after a 500-meter swim at Shoreline Park at Lewis North on Aug. 16, 2014. Next up for these competitors was a 14-mile bike ride and a 5k run. Photo credit: Staff Sgt. Jennifer Spradlin

For 1st Lt. Andrew Webster, 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, the race was a reintroduction to a hobby he fell in love with while attending West Point.

"People are intimidated by triathlons because it's three different events, but really, I feel like they're not as challenging as they seem and more fun than you'd think. Once you actually complete one or two, it almost becomes addictive because you want to push yourself a little bit harder," said Webster. Webster won the sprint distance triathlon, finishing with a time of 1:06:49.

He said to train for a triathlon he did interval work in the pool, on the bike and on the track. He also combined longer bike rides with shorter distance runs to get his legs used to running after coming off the bike.

"[Triathlons] are a good tool to get yourself in better shape. With three different events, you can cross train and not wear your body down as much as if you were concentrating on one discipline," he said. "And it's a great way to spend a Saturday because you meet a whole bunch of people who have similar interests as you and get a workout in."

>>> Amanda Rodgers, of Kitsap County, participates in the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Deuces Wild Triathlon. Photo credit: Staff Sgt. Jennifer Spradlin

For others, it was their introduction to JBLM. Amanda Rodgers, a civilian athlete from Kitsap County, said it was her first race on a military installation, and that she enjoyed how the route took her past different military armament.

"A lot of people I know are either in the military or retired from the military, and they had done this race before, which is how I heard about it. I didn't know what to expect, but the bike route was really fun," said Rodgers. Rodgers, who is recovering from an injury, finished first in her age group for the sprint distance with a time of 1:13:22.

Rodgers said that she felt sometimes women assumed triathlons are more of a male sport, but she recommended female athletes interested in triathlons do research to find all-female training groups. She said races are also a great place to network and build community ties.

The next JBLM race is the Salmon Run & Bake Sept. 13 at McChord Field. To learn more about the race and to view the results of the triathlon, visit

>>> 1st Lt. Andrew Webster, 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, races up a hill during the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Deuces Wild Triathlon at Shoreline Park at Lewis North on Aug. 16, 2014. Webster, a West Point grad, won the sprint distance event with a time of 1:06:49. Photo credit: Staff Sgt. Jennifer Spradlin