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Published: Friday, March 15, 2019 @ 9:59 AM
If you’re looking to start an endurance sport or are already a seasoned veteran looking to improve your skills, you may want to consider joining the Wright-Patterson Endurance Sports Team (WEST).
WEST helps athletes develop the skills needed for endurance sports and accommodates every skill level, from beginner to advanced. It provides access to safe developmental training environments and to expert coaching and health consultants. The team encompasses several sports, including triathlon, the individual disciplines of swimming, biking and running, as well as obstacle course and adventure racing.
Justin Becker first found out about WEST when he participated in an indoor triathlon at Dodge Fitness Center in Area A.
“I started because I wanted to improve my physical fitness, specifically my cardiovascular health,” Becker said. “A race is a great motivator to keep working hard and to work toward a measureable goal.”
Becker ran the Air Force Marathon last summer and is now focusing mostly on triathlons.
“There is a lot to learn with a triathlon. We do three sports, not one. There is strength to build and technique to learn for all three,” Becker said. “My favorite thing about triathlon is that everybody wants everybody to do better. We cheer each other on and help each other every step of the way.”
In addition to the fitness aspects of endurance sports, there is also the added benefit of wingmanship and comradery.
“Everyone wants to help each other. The number of people sending out emails with offers to help, train with, and get to know each other is a lot. Most of us do not know each other personally yet, but there is already a feeling of wingmanship,” said Becker.
Lance Miller also found out about WEST from the base indoor triathlon and is fairly new to endurance sports.
“I got involved with triathlons last year after a friendly competition with a co-worker to sign up for the Ohio 70.3 triathlon, and after completion of that event I was hooked,” said Miller.
He enjoys the personal challenges a triathlon offers and says being able to better himself is what motivates him to participate in these events.
Anyone with no medical restrictions and permanent base access is eligible to join WEST. Head coach Col. Frank Schreiber said the team exists as much for beginner skills development as to challenge seasoned elites. It also partners with Integrated Delivery System activities, such as the base Sexual Assault Response Coordinator and Violence Prevention Integrator, to raise awareness of Wingman Intervention Program initiatives.