McChord teams tackle 100-mile adventure race

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Paul Haley
  • 446th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Push-ups, sit-ups and a 1.5 mile run are the elements the Air Force uses to test Airmen's fitness. If you think that's tough, try a 100-mile race that includes running, biking and kayaking. Now that's a test of fitness. 

The 446th Airlift Wing contributed the only competitors from McChord Air Force Base to the June 24 Mountain to Sound Relay Race, a 100-mile adventure race from Snoqualmie Pass to Puget Sound. 

The race consists of 23 miles of mountain biking, 50 miles of road bike riding, a 12-mile canoe/kayak course, a half-marathon and a six-mile run, according to the event's web site, 

Last year, the 728th Airlift Squadron fielded a team for the event because it sounded like fun, said Maj. Tim Greminger, a pilot with the 728th AS who organized the teams and paddled the kayak leg for his team. The team enjoyed it so much that they talked friends into joining them. 

This year, three teams consisting of 12 people from the 728th AS, as well as one person from the 97th Airlift Squadron and two civilians, raced alongside the original team. 

Each member of a five-person team performs a different portion of the race. By running the race in a relay, the members play to their own strengths. 

"Everyone trains in their own discipline, so there was nothing out of the ordinary from our workout routines," Major Greminger said. 

While individuals train on their own events, and by their own methods, teamwork still has an impact on training, said Capt. Jennifer Henderson, a pilot from the 728th AS, who ran the half-marathon. 

"Being on a team pushed me more, because I didn't want to let anyone down," she said. "I don't know if I would have worked as hard on my own." 

Major Greminger's team, Sofa Kings, finished fourth of 13 teams in the corporate division, and 21st overall. 

Captain Henderson said her team, Hopefully Optimistic, was competing more against themselves than the other competitors in the all-female division. 

"Our goal was really just to finish," she said. "It was such a great time and I think it has really built up the morale of the 728th." 

It probably doesn't hurt their Fit to Fight scores either. 

Next year's Mountain to Sound Relay is June 29. Registration opens Oct. 1.
The Mountains to Sound Relay is a relay race open to all persons 15 years or older. The relay consists of mountain biking, road biking, canoeing/kayaking and running. Each leg finisher needs only to touch off to their next leg racer. 

Teams will consist of one person for each leg of the race for five total (or six total for the tandem paddle). A person may compete on only one team, and in only one leg of the race. 

Pairs teams consist of two people, each competing in every other leg. 

The Iron Solo division is for one person to complete all five legs and the full 100-plus miles alone.