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Vandenberg's elite prepare for 2010 Armed Forces Triathlon Championship

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Maj. Jonathan Mason, the 30th Weather Squadron assistant director of operations, and 1st Lt. Scott Tonder, a 392nd Training Squadron space operations instructor, train together on base for an annual military triathlon Tuesday, May 11, 2010. Major Mason and Lieutenant Tonder were selected to represent the Air Force triathlon team in the 2010 Armed Forces Triathlon Championship at Naval Base Ventura County Point Mugu May 30. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Steve Bauer)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Maj. Jonathan Mason, the 30th Weather Squadron assistant director of operations, and 1st Lt. Scott Tonder, a 392nd Training Squadron space operations instructor, train together on base for an annual military triathlon Tuesday, May 11, 2010. Major Mason and Lieutenant Tonder were selected to represent the Air Force triathlon team in the 2010 Armed Forces Triathlon Championship at Naval Base Ventura County Point Mugu May 30. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Steve Bauer)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Two Vandenberg Airmen are schedule to compete in the 2010 Armed Forces Triathlon Championship at Naval Base Ventura County Point Mugu May 30.

Maj. Jonathan Mason, the 30th Weather Squadron assistant director of operations, and 1st Lt. Scott Tonder, a 392nd Training Squadron space operations instructor, were selected to represent the Air Force triathlon team in an Olympic style event were they will compete in a 1.5K swim, 40K bike ride and 10K run.

Major Mason and Lieutenant Tonder were selected among only 10 other Airmen Air Force-wide to compete in this year's triathlon. The race is open to the Navy, Army, Marine Corps and Air Force. Each branch of the military will provide a team of 12 to compete.

"I think our team has a good shot at winning this year's competition," said Major Mason. "The Army and Navy are both going to be tough this year. However, I know the members of our team and If everyone can give their 100 percent, we will do very well - the potential is there."

For Vandenberg's elite tri-athletes, being selected to participate on the Air Force team in the Armed Forces Triathlon Championship has become an annual occurrence. Lieutenant Tonder competed in the triathlon in 2007 - 2009, and Major Mason competed alongside in 2008 and 2009.

"It is a lot of fun to go down to this competition and represent the Air Force," said Lieutenant Tonder. "The challenge is what I really look forward to. It feels good being part of that environment and test yourself against such great athletes from across the nation."

Diligently, Major Mason and Lieutenant Tonder have been preparing themselves for the competition by training together.

"Having a team member on base to train with has significantly helped us prepare for the triathlon," said Major Mason. "Because of the accountability factor, we have found that it is harder to let your partner down by missing a workout."

Other Vandenberg athletes have helped in the training process for this event, said Lieutenant Tonder.

"There is a lot of talent on this base," Lieutenant Tonder said. "The support we've received from Vandenberg has helped us put it all together for the big event, and we are ready to win."