FitFactor helps kick-off fitness month

Story and photos by Senior Airman Amanda Dick

Members of the KMC participated in the FitFactor Triathlon May 3 at the Ramstein Aquatic Center.

Approximately 100 youth and adults swam, biked and ran their way to the finish line where family, friends and spectators cheered them on. The event, held mainly for youth to get them out and exercising, brought families together to raise awareness for fitness.

“We wanted to come up with a new event for our youth, our teens, our families and the community to kick-off fitness month which is May,” said Jennifer Hodges, KMC FitFactor program director and Sembach Youth Programs director. “With our youth and teens, we want to get them out and get them active, trying new sports. They’re setting the example for the rest of the community.”

Those 9 to 14-years old competed in the Mini Sprint course. Those over 18 competed in the Sprint course which consisted of a 500-meter swim, an 11-mile bike and a 1-mile run. Those 15 to 18-years old chose to compete in the course of their choice.

“Today, I swam 200 meters, I biked three miles and ran one mile,” said Eva Chouchan, a nine-year old participant and daughter of Army Sgt. 1st Class Lom Chouchan, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery 5-7 Air Defense Artillery, Rhein Ordinance Barracks, Germany. “The running was a bit hard, but I’m very proud of myself.”

Eva Chouchan wasn’t the only one feeling good about this event.

“I always feel better after I do a triathlon,” said Capt. Bradley Danschen, 212th Combat Support Hospital, Miesau, Germany. “It gives me an idea of what I need to work on.”

While each participant received a T-shirt after crossing the finish line, the top three finishers in each age category received a medal.

After the triathlon, participants were greeted with a cookout and carnival, which included bouncy castles for the children.

“We’re celebrating all the athletes who participated and the wonderful volunteers,” Ms. Hodges said.

This is the first year the triathlon has been held.