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First time Lazyman competitor breaks Schriever record

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Master Sgt. Pete Aronson, flight chief of engineering with the 19th Space Operations Squadron, runs in the Run for Aurora ultramarathon at Roxborough State Park, Colorado, June 2013. Aronson has raced in various ultramarathons, but the Lazyman Triathlon was his first triathlon-based event. (Courtesy photo)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --

Master Sgt. Pete Aronson, fight chief of engineering with the 19th Space Operations Squadron, beat the previous Lazyman Triathlon record of finishing in three days during his debut involvement.

Aronson finished in 19 hours and 45 minutes.

“I read online somewhere that the average Ironman Triathlon time is between 11-15 hours, so I'm satisfied with my time considering I put in zero training and haven't swam in years,” he said.

A Schriever member since 2008, Aronson added he heard about the Lazyman in the past, but did not think he had the time to finish three events in the month.

He decided to participate this year to get a jumpstart on his workouts in a new way.

“I wish I checked it out years ago when I first heard it being advertised, but I wasn't willing to try anything new at the time,” he said. “I'm glad I jumped on it this year. It was a difficult, yet rewarding experience.”

This was Aronson’s first triathlon of any distance.

“I was always turned off by the amount of training I thought it would take to be able to complete all three components,” he said. “I run ultramarathons, so I know what it takes to train, reach and maintain a decent level of fitness for just the running portion. I couldn't imagine committing to three times that.”

Aronson decided to challenge himself to complete the triathlon in one day for three reasons: to see if he had the physical capability to do so, to know how it felt to complete what most would never attempt and to encourage others to participate.

“I attended the Marine Corps senior non-commissioned officer-in-charge academy last summer and one of the most important leadership traits they hit on was credibility,” he said. “Don't ever ask anyone to do something you wouldn't do,” he said. “I wanted to make sure I had the credibility to convince others to follow. I'm pretty confident I hit the mark. I convinced 10 others to sign up and I hope they achieve their goals.”

“What better way to do so than to lead by example?” he added.  

Aronson started the swim at midnight at Lifetime Fitness, then drove over to VillaSport Athletic Club to complete his bike portion, then returned to Lifetime to complete the run.  

“Changing scenery between gyms is what made it possible,” he said. “I would have lost my mind had I stayed in the same building all day.”

Aronson was both mentally and physically exhausted after he completed the triathlon, but was excited to have completed his goal.

“I fell asleep immediately after I got home, but was excited the next morning,” he said.

Aronson thought the swimming portion would be the hardest part, since he had not swam in almost a decade.

“The swim turned out to be great because I had the entire pool to myself and was wide awake,” he said. “The bike ended up being the most difficult component. It took forever and it was a beast. I ended up spending a little over nine hours on the bike. I was there so long, I actually saw some people come back after work for their second workout.”

Seth Cannello, fitness center director with the 50th Force Support Squadron, was not only impressed with the level of skill Aronson showed, but his willingness to motivate others to participate in the event.

“The most impressive thing that I can say about Master Sgt. Aronson is not how fast he finished, but rather his ability to recruit others to participate,” he added. “He motivated a lot of folks from his shop to sign up and I'm very grateful to him for spreading the word.”

“I wouldn't recommend to complete it all at once unless you're up for the challenge,” Aronson said.

There are 251 Lazyman participants registered, and calculators must be turned in to the fitness center no later than March 2.

For more information about upcoming fitness center events, call 567-6628.