Mina Sulman, Bahrain
(Oct 8, 2010) - Seven MCM CREW FEARLESS Sailors departed from the USS ARDENT (MCM-12) early on Friday 8 October. While their shipmates were dreaming of home, these sailors prepared for the 600m swim and 6km run in 95F degree heat. Nearly 25km East of Mina Sulman, Bahrain, where the ARDENT and CREW FEARLESS call home, the events of the morning welcomed the seven only Americans participating in the locally sponsored biathlon.
The participants in the Biathlon were free to choose a partner to “relay” the event, sharing the swim and run chores, or to solely compete in both the swim and run. YNCM(SW) Carlos Brady and ET1(SW) Phillip Castellano paired up into a run swim duo. HM1(FMF) Ramone Resop, MN3(SW) Aubrey Rodgers, MN3(SW) Jonathan Esquivel, and LCDR Martin Holguin participated as individuals, both swimming and running. IT3(SW) Calvin Cuenca was the action shot man, recording the events on digital film to share with family and shipmates.
The Biathlon Event gave the crew a chance to expound on the “Liberty as a Mission” mantra of 5th Fleet by taking to the community to participate with many ex-pats and local Bahrain athletes in one of many Bahrain RoadRunner events held nearly weekly.
When the dust had settled LCDR Holguin finished 19th, MN3(SW) Rodgers followed him in 32nd place, HM1(FMF) Resop complete the course in exactly 1 hour and MN3(SW) Esquivel came in just behind him at 1 hour and 2 minutes. The relay team of ET1(SW) Castellano and YNCM(SW) Brady finished in the top 15 of the relay category. As a spectator IT3(SW) Cuenca said, “The Biathlon was a great experience for me, I was amazed at how motivated everyone was to push through the two events.”
Some of our sailors decided to join the running club to continue to meet new friends, learn more about Bahrain, and share in the commonality of the desire to run and foster camaraderie. In the words of ET1(SW) Castellano, “The 600m swim was a challenge and turned out to be one of the best days I’ve had in Bahrain, I was able to compete against some of the best in Bahrain and have a nice breakfast with a free t-shirt. My fellow run team and I will be a part of the Bahrain swim and run competitions throughout the deployment which will help us get to know the community better and stay in shape.” In this spirit 32 Crew Fearless Sailors are signed up for the Bahrain International Relay, a 26.2 marathon relay divided into 16 legs on 29 OCT. These events keep sailors fit, foster great local relationships, and bolster the team concept.