Training pays off for Titkemeier at 11th annual Triathlon

Jennifer Titkemeier, Air Force Space Command, completes the final stage of the 11th annual Schriever Air Force Base Triathlon, Friday, Aug. 14, 2015, on the running trail at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado.  Titkemeier took first place in the female division, completing the 800-meter swim, 12-mile bike, and 3.1-mile run in 1:27:30. (U.S. Air Force photo/Christopher DeWitt)

Jennifer Titkemeier, Air Force Space Command, completes the final stage of the 11th annual Schriever Air Force Base Triathlon, Friday, Aug. 14, 2015, on the running trail at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado. Titkemeier took first place in the female division, completing the 800-meter swim, 12-mile bike, and 3.1-mile run in 1:27:30. (U.S. Air Force photo/Christopher DeWitt)

Wyatt Owen swims during the first stage of the 11th annual Schriever Air Force Base Triathlon, Friday, Aug. 14, 2015, in the Tierra Vista community center pool at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado.  Owen, the son of Lt. Col. Zack Owen, completed the 800-meter swim, 12-mile bike, and 3.1-mile run in 1:38:36. (U.S. Air Force photo/Christopher DeWitt)

Wyatt Owen swims during the first stage of the 11th annual Schriever Air Force Base Triathlon, Friday, Aug. 14, 2015, in the Tierra Vista community center pool at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado. Owen, the son of Lt. Col. Zack Owen, completed the 800-meter swim, 12-mile bike, and 3.1-mile run in 1:38:36. (U.S. Air Force photo/Christopher DeWitt)

Woody Noleen, retired, completes the final stage of the 11th annual Schriever Air Force Base Triathlon, Friday, Aug. 14, 2015, on the running trail at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado.  Noleen won the male division completing the 800-meter swim, 12-mile bike, and 3.1-mile run in 1:09:26. (U.S. Air Force photo/Christopher DeWitt)

Woody Noleen, retired, completes the final stage of the 11th annual Schriever Air Force Base Triathlon, Friday, Aug. 14, 2015, on the running trail at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado. Noleen won the male division completing the 800-meter swim, 12-mile bike, and 3.1-mile run in 1:09:26. (U.S. Air Force photo/Christopher DeWitt)

Competitors listen as Seth Cannello, Schriever Air Force Base Fitness Center director, explains rules of the 11th annual Schriever Air Force Base Triathlon, Friday, Aug. 14, 2015, outside the Tierra Vista community center pool at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado.  The competitors first swam 800 meters in the pool and rode 12 miles on a bicycle before finishing the event with a 3.1-mile run. (U.S. Air Force photo/Christopher DeWitt)

Competitors listen as Seth Cannello, Schriever Air Force Base Fitness Center director, explains rules of the 11th annual Schriever Air Force Base Triathlon, Friday, Aug. 14, 2015, outside the Tierra Vista community center pool at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado. The competitors first swam 800 meters in the pool and rode 12 miles on a bicycle before finishing the event with a 3.1-mile run. (U.S. Air Force photo/Christopher DeWitt)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- In 2014, Jennifer Titkemeier battled her way to a second place finish in the 10th annual Schriever Air Force Base Triathlon. Still recovering from diastasis recti (a split in the abdominal wall) and sacroiliitis (inflammation between the spine and pelvis) as a result of child birth, Titkemeier had to compete against both the pain and the other competitors.

"It has been a long road to recovery since the birth of my daughter," Titkemeier said. "The first year after her birth, I tried everything I could to get back into shape and was battling through the pain but not getting results. Last year's triathlon was painful."

With the help of chiropractic treatment and physical therapy, she was able to nearly eliminate the pain allowing her to train with a Masters Swim coach and join a RAGNAR team.

"Finally being free of pain this summer I decided to push myself," she said.

All of the training paid off as she took top female honors at the 11th annual Schriever Air Force Base Triathlon Aug. 14, with a time of 1:27:30, four minutes in front of Kelly Hunsaker (1:31:44) and nine ahead of Sheri Lattemore (1:36:16).

"I did sign up for the Lazyman in February and fell short [because] I didn't get the miles for the run," she said. "I was glad to be able to redeem myself, it felt so good to finish."

Woody Noleen took top honors for the males with a time of 1:09:26, holding off Sam Bessinger (1:11:22) and well ahead of Heath Busche (1:21:52).

In all, 38 competitors and four teams took part in the event, which consisted of an 800-meter swim, 12-mile bike and 3.1-mile run, according to Bing Hack, Schriever Fitness Center personal trainer and recreation assistant. He said only one competitor was unable to finish and that was due to an issue with their bicycle.

"Three [competitors] had bike issues with flat tires," Hack said. "One dropped out, one ran nine miles to finish the race and one got another bike to finish the race."

Titkemeier said the bike trail was so rough it caused her water bottle to fall out of her bike and the wet summer made it hard to build momentum because she would have to slow down for mud.

"The bike was rough, anytime I built up speed on a straight away or downhill I would have to ride my brakes to slow down for a sandy or muddy patch," she said.

The weather also had an effect, with temperatures reaching the high 80s and a nearly cloudless sky allowing the full strength of the sun to beat down on the competitors.

"The sun was so hot I was dying of thirst about two thirds in," Titkemeier said.

The Triathlon is just one of the monthly fitness events hosted by the fitness center. The next event is the Schriever Combine, scheduled for Sept. 11, which will put participants through six events similar to those at the NFL Combine. The events include a 40-yard dash, tire flip, vertical jump, broad jump, three cone drill and shuttle run. Participants must register by Sept. 3.

For more information, or to register for an event, call the Schriever fitness center at 567-6628.