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Vandenberg Airman placed high in 2011 Armed Forces Triathlon

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The 2011 Armed Forces triathlon was held at Naval Base Ventura County Point Mugu on April 9.

The Air Force's Men's Team took first place over other men's teams from the Navy, Coast Guard, Army and Marine Corps.

The 2011 Armed Forces triathlon events consisted of a 1,500 meter swim, 40 kilometers bicycling race and 10 kilometer run.

1stLt Scott Tonder, a 533rd Training Squadron Space Operations Instructor here, represented the Air Force in the Armed Forces Triathlon.

"It's unbelievable, the comrade that you have down there, I've made so many good friends with those on the air force team so it's amazing to go down and compete with them," said Lieutenant Tonder. "The mission of all armed forces sports is friendship through sports. We are all there on the same team, other than that two hour time period that we are competing against each other; we are all doing the mission together."

Lieutenant Tonder competed in the triathlon and he earned himself a spot to compete in the 5th Military World Games on July 25 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The Military World Games are the second largest world sporting event next to the Olympics. Held every four years, a year before the Olympic Games, the Military World Games have been ongoing since 1995. Lieutenant Tonder will be one of approximately 4,900 military athletes from over 100 countries competing in 24 sporting events.

To train for the Military World Games triathlon, Lieutenant Tonder has enlisted the help of other athletes on base.

"It's always good to have people out there to train with to motivate you, to push each other, it's important to train with other people," said Lieutenant Tonder.

Lieutenant Tonder's strategy is to train for each individual portion of the triathlon.

While Lieutenant Tonder has paved his own way to the Military World Games with his dedication to athletic excellence, the support received from his squadron has allowed him to reach his goals.

"They have been unbelievable with letting me go to events like this" Lieutenant Tonder said. "Especially the other instructors that I work with in undergraduate space training covering me where I would normally be teaching. Everyone that I work with has been unbelievably supportive, I have been very fortunate."