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Triathlon challenges Incirlik athletes

Athletes swimming during triathlon

Triathlon participants compete in the 400-meter swim at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Aug. 28, 2021. During the triathlon, 38 participants came out to complete the 400-meter swim, 13-mile bike ride and a 5K run with little to no breaks between events. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Andrea Salazar)

Athlete running to finish line

Capt. Matt Kottenstette, a KC-135 Stratotanker pilot assigned to the 93rd Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, finishes the running portion of the triathlon at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Aug. 28, 2021. Kottenstette took first place for the individual male category. During the triathlon, 38 participants came out to complete the 400-meter swim, 13-mile bike ride and a 5K run with little to no breaks between events. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Andrea Salazar)

Female athlete on bicycle

Capt. Carley Gross, a KC-135 Stratotanker pilot assigned to the 93rd Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, begins the bike ride portion of the triathlon at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Aug. 28, 2021. Gross took first place for the individual female category. During the triathlon, 38 participants came out to complete the 400-meter swim, 13-mile bike ride and a 5K run with little to no breaks between events. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Andrea Salazar)

Man yelling start into microphone for athletic competition

Senior Master Sgt. J.W. Fair, the triathlon coordinator, announces the start of the triathlon swim portion at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Aug. 28, 2021. During the triathlon, 38 participants came out to complete the 400-meter swim, 13-mile bike ride and a 5K run with little to no breaks between events. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Andrea Salazar)

Triathlon spectators clapping as runners pass a finish line

Spectators clap as athletes cross the finish line of a triathlon hosted by the 39th Air Base Wing at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Aug. 28, 2021. The event was offered to the entire Incirlik community to promote fitness and sportsmanship. Approximately 38 participants came out to complete the 400-meter swim, 13-mile bike ride and a 5K run with little to no breaks between events. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Andrea Salazar)

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey --

Athletes from the U.S. military, Turkish air force and Spanish army participated in a triathlon hosted by the 39th Air Base Wing at Incirlik Air Base Aug. 28, 2021.

Approximately 38 participants came out to complete the 400-meter swim, 13-mile bike ride and a 5K run.

“Doing these events is for the community and also to promote fitness,," said Senior Master Sgt. J.W. Fair, 39th AIr Base Wing Inspector General inspector and triathlon coordinator. “Fitness is part of the military lifestyle so participants get to test their physical endurance and push their bodies to the next level.”

Capt. Matt Kottenstette, a KC-135 Stratotanker pilot assigned to the 93rd Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, took first place in the overall male category.

“This was definitely a challenge going from swimming, biking and then running,” said Kottenstette. “I’m deployed out here so this was something I wanted to do to challenge myself but also for fun.”

Overall, the event took close to three hours to finish and participants took home souvenirs such as gift cards, shirts and hats.

"It was great having some of our NATO allies come out and compete together," Fair said. “We are hoping the triathlons continue so that we could grow into a yearly tradition.”