Originally published by Stacey Bonnar, The Laughlin Times
Nov 30, 2005
LAUGHLIN — Laughlin Metro Sgt. Chuck Jones isn’t just a policeman. Recently he attempted to be an Ironman.
Jones competed in the Silverman full distance Ironman Triathlon at Lake Mead on Nov. 13, which consisted of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride and a 26 mile marathon run.
Jones, who in addition to being the former Police Athletic League coordinator, also runs the Investigative Control Squad in Laughlin, gave it his best effort, but an ankle injury at the final leg of the race squashed his hopes to finish the event.
“I’m running again and I’ve already started training for next year,” an optimistic Jones said.
Although Jones didn’t come away with a medal this time around, the experience didn’t leave him empty-handed. He made a few discoveries of the human spirit along the way. “I’m not a gifted, natural athlete, but I now know that if you set your mind to something, you really can accomplish it,” he said.
Other Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officers from Las Vegas competed in the event as well. One used the event as a fund-raiser to benefit a fallen officer’s children, the other as a tribute to an officer who was killed in July while training for the event.
According to Jones, correction office Melissa Lardomita used the triathlon to raise money for college for the children of police officer Fred Hernandez of Las Vegas. Hernandez was killed in a traffic accident earlier this year. Lardomita completed the event and raised over $6,000 for the Hernandez children’s college education fund.
Another Metro officer, Eric Roberson of the Public Information Office in Las Vegas, ran the race as a tribute to fallen officer Don Albietz. Albietz was killed in Red Rock Canyon in July while training to compete in this event. He was killed while riding his bike in a hit and run accident. The perpetrator was later found and charged with his death.
Roberson wore Albietz’ competition jersey and police uniform shorts for the competition as a tribute to the well regarded officer. “Don was the epitome of a great police officer. He was a super individual and it was shameful to lose a guy like that,” Jones said.
Jones also said that at the upcoming Las Vegas Marathon on Dec. 4, 26 Metro officers will each run one mile while carrying a torch as a tribute to Albietz.
“Whether they competed for themselves or for the sake of others, Metro officers again demonstrated that they are more than just the badge. They are people who face disappointment, defeat, loss and suffering and manage to do their best to rise above it, just like everybody else,” Jones explained.