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ICBM instructor trains to compete against world's best triathletes

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Capt. Sean Glas, a 392nd Training Squadron intercontinental ballistic missile operations training instructor, rides his bike in the 2011 Halfmax National Championship in Myrtle Beach, S.C., Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011. Glas is slated to compete in the International Triathlon Union’s 2012 Long Course Triathlon World Championships on July 29 in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain. (Courtesy Photo)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Capt. Sean Glas, a 392nd Training Squadron intercontinental ballistic missile operations training instructor, rides his bike in the 2011 Halfmax National Championship in Myrtle Beach, S.C., Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011. Glas is slated to compete in the International Triathlon Union’s 2012 Long Course Triathlon World Championships on July 29 in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain. (Courtesy Photo)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Then cadet, Capt. Sean Glas, a 392nd Training Squadron intercontinental ballistic missile operations training instructor, was the drum major for the Regimental Band and Pipes at The Citadel, in Charleston, S.C., during his senior year. In the summer of 2001, Glas was recognized as a Superior Performer for Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps field training during the summer. Glas is slated to compete in the International Triathlon Union’s 2012 Long Course Triathlon World Championships on July 29 in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain. (Courtesy Photo)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Then cadet, Capt. Sean Glas, a 392nd Training Squadron intercontinental ballistic missile operations training instructor, was the drum major for the Regimental Band and Pipes at The Citadel, in Charleston, S.C., during his senior year. In the summer of 2001, Glas was recognized as a Superior Performer for Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps field training during the summer. Glas is slated to compete in the International Triathlon Union’s 2012 Long Course Triathlon World Championships on July 29 in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain. (Courtesy Photo)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- An assistant flight commander at the 392nd Training Squadron here is currently training to compete in the International Triathlon Union's 2012 Long Course Triathlon World Championships on July 29 in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain.

Capt. Sean Glas, a 392nd TRS intercontinental ballistic missile operations training instructor, will compete as a member of Team USA Triathlon against the world's best tri-athletes in a race consisting of a 3 km (1.9 mile) swim, 120 km (74 mile) bicycle ride and 30 km (18 mile) footrace.

Glas qualified to compete in ITU's 2012 Long Course Triathlon World Championships by competing in the 2011 Halfmax National Championship in Myrtle Beach, S.C., Oct. 8, 2011. Glas placed in the top 20 for his age group by finishing the triathlon in 5 hours, 4 minutes, 20 seconds.

"I did my first long course triathlon in 2006 and have been hooked ever since," said Glas. "When competing in a triathlon, nobody else is pushing you - it's a competition against yourself. So it's your own personal drive that gets you from start to finish. After that distance, it starts to become a mind game. Mental strategy comes into play and it becomes an interesting challenge, to say the least."

Although selected as one of only13 males, ages 30 - 34, to represent the U.S. in an ITU world championship, Glas has not always been the sports enthusiast he is today.

Growing up in New Orleans, La., Glas' extracurricular activities revolved around the thick musical culture of his surroundings. In high school he was a drum major and trombone player. His musical interests carried over to his college years at The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, in Charleston, S.C. During his senior year at The Citadel, Glas was the drum major for The Regimental Band and Pipes.

Glas first started becoming interested in athletics after a friend of his, who he met in college, told him about triathlons.

"I had always been somewhat above average in running, swimming and biking - running and swimming in particular," said Glas. "When my friend told me about triathlons, it peaked my interest because it was an event where you don't have to be the best at any one sport, but if you're above average in all three, you can still do extremely well."

During his debut at the 5430 Long Course Triathlon in Boulder, Colo., Aug. 13, 2006, Glas' passion for competing in triathlons blossomed.

"I was completely exhausted by the end of my first long course triathlon, but I knew halfway through the 56-mile bike ride portion that I wanted to do it again," he said.

Since 2006, Glas' personal goal has been to compete in at least one long course triathlon each year.

Recently, Glas has competed in the following triathlons: The Avia Wildflower Triathlon at Lake San Antonio in May 2011; Full Vineman Triathlon in Sonoma County in July 2011; and the Halfmax National Championship in Myrtle Beach, S.C., in October 2011.

Now, Glas is focused on training for the world championships in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain.

"I started my annual training for this year a couple of weeks ago," said Glas. "I am just doing some base building right now. I workout normally two times a day, five to six days a week. Most of my training is cardio of some sort. I usually combine one event versus another event with some strength training put in there, once or twice a week, for strength maintenance."

With less than seven months away from making the trip to Spain, Glas has begun to mentally prepare for the upcoming competition.

"I'm slightly nervous, but I'm looking forward to it," he said. "I know it's a big endeavor."

Glas is scheduled to depart Vandenberg for the world championships in Spain in late July.