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home : sports : sports
September 22, 2021

7/30/2021 11:04:00 AM
The couple that runs together, wins together
by JEFF NORTON


In only his second triathlon ever, Karl Nygren crossed the finish line in front 305 other competitors to take top honors at the 2021 Chisago Lakes Triathlon on Sunday, July 25.

The 34-year old Orono native, who cut his teeth in Nordic skiing, more than held his own in the opening leg, a 1.2 mile swim. He finished in 33rd place overall, but that only set him back roughly seven minutes behind the leader.

The biking and running portions of the tri are where time can really be made up, and Nygren did his part to pull away from the pack. He registered the top bike time on the day in 2:09:24, more than seven minutes faster than the next best biker, Brad Woodford. In the run, Nygren again had a great time, finishing the 13.1 mile run in 1:29:41, good enough for ninth best in that event. He was seven minutes behind the top runner Anthony Jagielo, who set a monster pace on the running course, but was right there with many of the other top finishers.

All of it added up to a final time of 4 hours, 16 minutes and 23 seconds for Nygren, almost six minutes ahead of Woodford, who came in second in 4:22:02. Jagielo, who finished third in the biking as well, came in third overall with a time of 4:22:19. He had struggled in the water, putting in the 109th place finish before finishing strong on land.

Kristopher Spoth of St. Paul came in fourth with a time of 4:22:50 and Patrick Allaire rounded out the top five. The Marshfield, WI native finished in 4:24:58. The top five seemed to be a cut above the rest of the field as the second through fifth place finishers were all clumped by two minutes, and the sixth place finisher was then almost four minutes behind them.

For the women, Kelly Trom returned to defend her crown, and she held off a tough challenge from Liz Lieberman to be crowned champion again. Trom, who is 34 and from Minneapolis, finished 16th overall, and put up some impressive splits to get there. She was the sixth person, regardless of gender, out of the water with a swim time of 31:26. Lieberman was right on her heels with a time of 31:33 in Chisago Lake.

She kept the pressure on in the biking portion of the event, finishing the grueling, sun-soaked course in 2:34:30, which was good enough for 25th overall. She bested Lieberman by just over three minutes in that event, and that was all the cushion Trom would need. She put in the 16th best running time in the event, finishing the road course in 1:33:02, which was four minutes ahead of Lieberman’s 28th place pace. Lieberman, a 29-year old from Eden Prairie put up a heck of a fight, but just couldn’t dethrone Trom.

Trom’s final time was 4:42:43 while Lieberman’s second place time was 4:50:27.

Elaine Nelson, a 42-year old Duluth native, was the third woman across in 4:57:10.

Katie Adams of Lincoln, Nebraska and Cheryl Jesereitz of Savage finished up the top five women. Adams finished in 5:05:58 and Jeseretiz was right behind in 5:06:20.

The Nygren-Trom top finsihes were impressive on their own, but given that fact that the two are a couple and train together, it was quite a feat for the pair. In fact, after finishing, Nygren didn’t bask for long before walking back out on the course in search of Trom to motivate her to the finish line.

Local finishers
There were no Lakes Area finishers in the Half Iron. The closest finishers were a handful of Forest Lake residents, a couple of Scandia competitors and a Wyoming athlete.
Michael Schultz of Forest Lake was the top finisher among them, coming in 43rd place with a time of 5:09:20.

Justin Bonnett of Forest Lake came in 94th place with a time of 5:36:42, Elizabeth Swartout of Wyoming finished in 5:39:19. Other finishers include Brad Koch of Forest Lake in 132nd place, Quinlan Bonnett of Forest Lake in 167th place, Mary Cullen of Scandia in 236th place, Padam Ohja of Forest Lake in 282nd place amd Christopher Campbell of Scandia in 283rd place.



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