July 30, 2009 at 8:10 a.m.
Thompson simply kept up with the leaders in the swimming heat. He was the third person out of the lake at 22:05. Minneapolis's Lucas Murray won the swimming event with a 12:25, but that didn't help him in the overall standings, as he fell towards the back of the pack in the biking and running events.
Thompson made his move in the biking event, flying to the front with a time of 2:07:34. The time set him up to be able to run a comfortable, consistent pace during the last leg. He had cushioned his lead enough to know that as long as he didn't make any critical mistakes, he'd be just fine.
As the minutes ticked towards four hours, a quiet murmur could be heard just outside of Paradise Park, where the finish line was. As Thompson started to come into view of more spectators, it turned from a murmur to a roar instantly as people realized that the course record was about to be squashed.
Thompson came around the last turn and entered the final stretch with a smile on his face and some spring in his step. The 31-year-old St. Paul resident had bested the field of 496 others to win the event in 3:47:16 and shatter the old Chisago Lakes Tri record of 4:05:48 held by Dan Balabuck.
Thompson's torrid pace pushed others to the limit, also, as seven other competitors came in under the old record, including three others who finished in under four hours.
Last year's champion, Rod Raymond, didn't compete in the event.
Although Thompson was the first one to cross the finish, he wasn't the only one crushing records. Heather Haviland of Waukesha, WI, smoked Julie Hull's record-setting time from last year. Haviland finished the race in 4:23:25, almost 15 minutes faster than Hull's 4:37:13 from the 2008 Tri.
Haviland was the eighth woman out of the water, and although she never finished first in any of the three events, her consistency was the key. She finished fourth in the biking stage with a time of 2:23:37. She saved her best for the last, however, finishing third in the running portion in 1:30.27.
Jackie Arendt was the fastest swimmer and runner in the field, but due to a 10th place finish in the biking event, she finished back in fourth place. Marnie Walth won the biking part with a 2:22:58.
Just like the men's side, the high level of competition pushed numerous competitors to previously unseen levels here at the Chisago Lakes Triathlon. Besides Haviland, six other women finished ahead of Hull's record, including Hull herself. She finished in sixth place with a time of 4:30:51. Last year, that time would've won her the event by over six minutes.
For the full Half-Triathlon results, check out www.midwestsportsevents.com/results.html. Due to the growing number of entrants, limited space, only local runners will be highlighted in this story.
The top finisher among local male runners was 21-year-old Andrew Turner. Turner, from Scandia, finished in 30th place among males, and second place in his age division (See more on page 4B).
Turner finished the tri in 4:30:21 with a 22:39 swim, a 2:30:45 bike and a 1:34:56 run.
Stacy resident Cody Good finished in 183rd place among men. After having a tough time with the swim and finishing in 48:29, Good picked it up, finishing the biking portion in 2:44:43, and the running part in 1:57:16. Good finished 12th in the 20-24 age category.
Lindstrom's Joe Virga toughed out the tri, finishing with a total time of 5:57:27. He started off well in the swim, paddling to a 35:17 finish, but he went over three hours in the bike event, and just over two hours in the running. Virga, however, was able to finish 18th in his 45-49 age group.
Kim Spande of North Branch was the top local woman finisher. Spande finished in 6:09:39 after a 41:59 swim, a 3:05:52 bike and 2:12:07 run.
Shannon Schlender of Lindstrom finished in 12th place in her age division, and 111th overall for women. Schlender finished the swim in 37:17, and then cracked three hours in the biking event with a 2:59:01. The fatigue started to set in by the run, however, and she finished out the foot race in 2:34:30. Her total time was 6:15:12.
In 118th place, Forest Lake's Bridget Edgar swam the race in 33:24, biked it in 3:28:38 and ran it in 2:30:31 for a total time of 6:37:27.
Two local relay teams finished the race as Terry Tolzmann, Curt Patak and Mark Holl buzzed through the course in 4:45:07.
Nicole Groschen, Scott Mower, Michael Sanderson were the other relay team to finish the half tri, and they got to the finish line in 5:59:23, just besting the six hour mark.
Full sprint results can be found in the July 30, 2009 edition of the Chisago County Press.
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