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Home : News : News
NEWS | July 15, 2015

Rambler 120 returns with addition of all-military categories

Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Public Affairs

The Rambler 120 Team Challenge, Joint Base San Antonio’s adventure race, will feature two new team categories when the ninth edition of the competitive event takes place Sept. 19 at the JBSA Recreation Park at Canyon Lake.

Hosted by the 502nd Force Support Squadron, the Rambler 120 challenges four-person “Xtreme” teams and eight-person relay teams with a 22-mile bike race through the Texas Hill Country, a 6-mile run across Canyon Lake Dam, a 2-mile raft race along the shoreline and mystery event.

The event also includes a “Just4Fun” category for recreational racers and a youth biathlon – the “Iron Kid” – for family members 5 to 12 years old.

Xtreme teams, which must include at least one Department of Defense ID cardholder, and relay teams, which must have at least two DOD ID cardholders, compete in all-male, all-female and coed categories, but this year all-military Xtreme and relay categories have been added to the Rambler 120.

“We’ve created Xtreme and relay categories for active-duty members to give our squadrons an opportunity to have a morale-boosting exercise,” Abbie Pollard, 502nd FSS community programs and partnership specialist, said. “It gives them a chance for more camaraderie.”

Military teams and individuals may also qualify to have their registration fees paid through the Air Force RecOn program, Pollard said.

The RecOn program provides recreational activities for active-duty members and their families, especially Airmen returning from deployment, and allows eligible customers to enjoy activities at no cost or at a discount, funds permitting.

Last year, 31 teams registered for the Rambler 120 in the Xtreme and relay divisions, including participants from all JBSA locations and Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas.

Pollard said team competition makes the Rambler 120 a special event.

“The military emphasizes health and fitness,” she said. “Of all our FSS programs, this one is unique because of the health and fitness aspect and the competitive nature of the event. This tests your abilities and shows what you’re really capable of.”

Maj. Jill Rogers, who was the 99th Flying Training Squadron’s assistant director of operations when her “99th Panthers” was the overall fastest relay team in last year’s event, also emphasized the Rambler 120’s team aspect.

“The race is such a great event because it really takes a lot of teamwork,” she said. “It is not about the individual. Everyone needs to work together to get to the finish line.”

Rogers, who now serves as the 19th Air Force mobility assistant director of operations, said competing in last year’s Rambler 120 was a great experience.

“I think everyone on the team had a lot of fun,” she said. “We were just going out to have fun and never expected to win the relay portion.”

Rogers said the 99th Panthers had to adjust to the loss of two members to illness, but her husband helped fill the void.

“The team was awesome and was able to quickly adapt to the changes,” she said. “Everyone was great and stepped up and changed what portions of the race they were planning on doing.”

Like Rogers, Col. Michael Patronis, 47th Medical Group commander at Laughlin Air Force Base, belonged to a winning team at last year’s Rambler 120. “Awesome Sauce” was the overall fastest Xtreme team.

“It was a surreal experience to have my great lifelong friend and my son join me for an Xtreme team challenge,” he said. “We overcame physical challenges as a team and used a strategy to maximize our individual and team strengths. It was epic and, for my son, a personal best.”

Patronis, who formerly served as Air Education and Training Command Surgeon General Directorate Medical Support Division chief, said the participants make the Rambler 120 special.

 “Folks came from all around, and several bases and services are represented, which results in great camaraderie,” he said.

The deadline to register for the Rambler 120 is Sept. 5, but teams that sign up before Aug. 1 save by paying the early-bird fee of $100 for the Xtreme division and $150 for the relay division. After Aug. 1, the registration fee increases to $120 for Xtreme teams and $180 for relay teams. Individuals pay only $25 and children pay $10. The fee covers a barbecue lunch, a commemorative T-shirt and awards for teams and children.

For more information, call Pollard or Ashley Lopez at 652-5763.