6th Conseil International du Sport Militaire (CISM) World Games Korea

October 18th, 2015

Upon arriving at the opening ceremony

What an experience! I have participated in CISM Championships before but never a CISM World Games.  Back in 2012, I went to Switzerland for a triathlon specific CISM and in 2011, I missed the Rio CISM World Games because of a deployment to Kuwait.  The Koreans did an awesome job hosting the 6th World Games with only a few details needing improvement.  The CISM World Games is basically the Olympics for the military.  It’s motto: Friendship Through Sport. It included both an opening and closing ceremony.  The opening ceremony was majestic, and I felt very honored to enter the stadium and walk on the track when team USA was called. The other triathletes and I qualified for the Games by placing top six at the Armed Forces National Championships in Hammond, IN back in early June.

Team USA!

Since I have already been living in Korea, I met the team at the airport.  We hopped on a 5 hour bus ride to our athlete village located in Yeongcheon at the Korean Army Academy (KAAY).  The city was located about 40 mins west of Pohang City where the triathlon race was held nine days later.  With so much time on our hands, I had plenty of time to do some more heavy training before the event. It was also a great opportunity to meet other athletes from other countries.  Mostly we hung out with the Canadians; however, I did go on a bike ride with a few Uruguayans and an Ecuadorian. The athletes in our village participated in military Pentathlon, Sky Diving, shooting, sailing or triathlon.  There was over 20 countries competing in the triathlon and a few other different country competing in some of the other sports.

Performers at the opening ceremony with a photo bomb!

The highlight of the accommodations provided at the village was the all you can eat buffets for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  And midnight meal if you are into that kind of thing.  There was also a cultural event every evening including different singers, dancers and other performers.  The only real downside was the rock hard beds and the fact that we had to sleep four to a room.  It would not have been so bad but one of the guys had gotten sick from someone else on the team. With such close sleeping quarters, there was a higher probability that we could also get sick.  There was only one of the guys in the room who did not get sick.  Unfortunately, I was not that guy.  It wasn’t too bad but not racing at 100 percent is always not ideal.

Pre race prep

When race day came, I had a double shot of espresso and I was feeling much better. The swim was another two lap ocean swim.  It was non-wetsuit except for the masters (over 35 years young) in the field. Although, they did have wait 30 seconds after us to start. I got off to a great start, running into the water and dolphin diving as far as I could. Team USA was positioned perfectly on the left side of the starting line.  It was ideal because it was less distance to the farthest turn buoy and because we had less people to fight to get there.  The only hurdle was getting passed the large breaks, the biggest I have ever had to deal with and wished I had grown up surfing. I did not have such a great swim after my start and let the main swim pack get away after 500 meters.  As we turned to head back to the shore, I could see I had lost the feet I needed to be on and tried my best to get back on them. Usually once you lose the pack and the draft it creates, you rarely make it back on your own. When I came onto shore to go around the buoy to run back into the water, the gap was too much to catch back up. I just tried my best to lessen the increasing gap as much as I could.

Team USA train

When I came out of the water, I was well over a minute off the first chase pack and leader well ahead.  The run from the water was longer than normal so I did my best to sprint to catch up. Kyle Hooker and Cody Bohachek were up in the chase pack while three other Americans were close behind me.  By the end of the first half of the bike lap, Barret LaHardy, Clay Petty and Davis Frease had ridden up to me.  Eventually we formed the second chase pack that got larger as the race went on.  Due to the lack of experience riding together, we attacked too many times and did not work fluid enough throughout the race.  This ended up breaking the pack up several times, tiring the legs and overall slowing us down.  I do have to hand it to Clay and Davis, who worked really hard by taking longer pulls than Barrett and I, so we could have fresher legs coming off the bike.

Run but fun

Into T2, Barrett and I positioned right up front, got off to a solid run start. Barrett took it out a little faster and ended up holding his initial lead throughout the run.  We both held a sub 33 min pace throughout the run and passed many people all the way to the finish. I even passed someone in the last 200 meters who almost made me sprint all out.  In the end, the men’s team finished in this order: Hooker – 31, LaHardy – 32, Me – 33, Bohachek – 36, Petty – 42 and Frease – 54.  In the team standings, we finished seventh for the men’s elite. Our masters actually picked up three bronze medals for master’s individual male, individual female and mixed team categories.  Following the race, we enjoyed a night of fun with the other teams at the athlete village. The next day we headed straight to Incheon airport, skipping the closing ceremonies due to a miscommunication dealing with our bike and luggage delivery. We stayed the night in a really nice hotel near the airport and had one last night of fun, Team USA triathletes only.  Let’s just say, we Party LeHardy’ed. Come morning, we all went our separate ways, mostly the team to the airport and me off to Osan Air Base to get ready to move the next day to Seoul.  I am now settling in at Yongsan and looking for an apartment. Next up, I am trying to do the ITU Tongyeong World Cup and the ITU Hong Kong Sprint at the end of the month.

Pee break on a training ride. Hey, don't look.

I am fortunate to have my health and honored to represent the US Army, Armed Forces Sports and race again for the US Military Elite Triathlon Team, part of US Military Endurance Sports. Racing and training is effortless and made possible by the following USMES sponsors:  Boeing,  Snapple,  Scott,  SRAMPrimalOsmo NutritionHoney StingerZipp,HeadsweatsRudy ProjectsXterra Wetsuits ProGold BikingKlean AthleteClever Training, and Schwalbe. I’m thankful to be serviced by and involved with my local bike shop, Jack and Adams Bikes. Team Sterghos also includes VasaSable Water Optics and Total Immersion. I’m coached and trained by Tim Crowley of TC2 coaching. I eat and promote a plant-based diet for maximum nutrition, performance and recovery. I also promote the pursuit of living and relationships—be true to yourself and live life with others.

Temple aka team USA photo shoot location

I graduated!