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News | June 28, 2024

Military triathletes to test mettle in annual Armed Forces championship

By Joe Lacdan, Army News Service U.S. Armed Forces Sports

Athletes from every service branch will compete to determine the top triathletes in the military at the 2024 Armed Forces Triathlon Championship this weekend. 

Hosted by Naval Base Ventura County since 2001, service members from the Air Force, Army, Navy, Coast Guard and Marine Corps will pedal, swim, and run along Southern California’s scenic Point Mugu Beach coastline. 

The race will pit triathlon veterans against each other as well as new entrants boasting experience from the military’s service academies. 

The triathlon, much like other Armed Forces Sports, helps raise service member retention and morale. But the sport offers service members the unique opportunity to compete at the highest levels while inherently raising fitness levels and endurance levels to new heights. 

Unlike basketball and volleyball which hosts mini camps, triathletes largely train on their own and develop their individual training regimens. Athletes compete at Olympic distances during the race: swimming 1500 meters, biking for 40-kilometers, and conclude with 10 km run.

“It gives them pride when they go back to their command,” said Mike Morris, All Navy Sports program manager. “But also a lot of them said they stick around to do this once a year.”

Morris said the Navy has a steady pipeline of athletes who competed in triathlon for the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

Last year the Marine Corps women upended sister service Navy for the first time in three years, while the Army overtook Air Force for second. 

Army Maj. Christyn Gaa took individual gold in the Women’s Master’s in her first Armed Forces Sports triathlon while Army Capt. Danielle Nuszkowski took silver in the Women’s open division in her first time competing. Capt. Mollie Geyer of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton crossed the finish line first with at time of 2:08:24.

However the Navy men continued their dominance, placing first in last year’s contest. Led by Lt. Cdr. Kyle Hooker who took individual men’s gold, finishing with a time of 1:52:22.Six sailors placed in the Top 11. Air Force Lt. Col. Jon Mason finished first in the men’s master’s division, clocking 2:01:32. 

“We just seem to be a step above,” Morris said. “They just train relentlessly whether they’re competing or not. They don’t take a break.”

To help athletes achieve optimum performance, Morris said that massage therapists for both men and women were scheduled to treat athletes before and after the race. New carpeting to help athletes transition from the swimming leg of the race to the bicycle race.

Visit for complete coverage of this year’s championship and for more information about the Armed Forces Sports program.