July 28, 2011 at 9:00 a.m.
The dictionary defines triathlon as an athletic contest consisting of three different events, typically swimming, cycling, and long-distance running. Shortened to tri, the dictionary definition is three, or having three.
That is something David Thompson of St. Paul now has. Thompson won the Chisago Lakes Triathlon Half Ironman for the third year in a row last weekend.
Again, he didn't have a pressing challenge at the end either, as the next finisher was nearly seven minutes behind him.
Thompson navigated his way trhough the 1.2 mile swim in 26:03, which was good enough for fourth place out of the water. He eventually took the lead in the biking event, which has always been his strongest suit. After a minute long transition, he torched through the 56 mile bike ride in 2:13:59, almost five minutes faster than 20-year-old Paul Eicher, who had the second fastest bike time and finished in second overall behind Thompson.
Although there were some still within striking distance of Thompson as the run began, nobody was able to lop off enough time to catch the speedy triathlete. He finished with the fourth fastest 13.1 mile run in 1:18:02. Thompson eventually crossed the finish line with no other competitors in sight in 4:00:22.
Eicher, who ran the tri on his 20th birthday, finished in 4:06:53 and shared a load of jubilation at the finish line with his family who had traveled to see him participate.
Thompson's protege Dan Hedgecock finished third with a time of 4:09.09.
Once one woman finished, they came pouring in at a rapid pace. Erica Urquiola of Miami, Florida, won the race with a time of 4:40:27. Despite not finishing at the top of any of the events, she was a model of consistency throughout the event. She was the 12th woman out of the water in a time of 32:10.
Although her transition to the bike was a little slow, it wasn't enough to hinder her actual biking as she turned in the third fasted bike time in 2:33:45.
She improved her transition time from the bike to the run, and then kept a solid 6:54 mile pace throughout the run. That gave her an end time of 1:30:33, the fourth fastest. Her total time of 4:40:27 was just two minutes faster than Maggie Fournier of Onalaska, Wisconsin.
After those two, five women poured into the finish area in the next four minutes, including Morrey Brennan, Jenny Wilcox, Jan Guenther, Marlina Walth and Britt Dick.
Editor's Note: For a complete list of local runners in the Half Ironman and Sprint, check out page 17 of this issue of the County Press.
Thomas Krenz was the top finisher in the triathlon among local triathletes. Despite a bit of a slow start, Krenz more than made up for it in the run. Going into the final leg, he trailed Scott Ransom of Golden Valley by nearly eight minutes. Krenz began to slowly, but surely, creep up on Ransom, and he eventually passed him on the running course with only a few miles left. Krenz ended up finishing the race in 4:41:19, nearly three minutes ahead of Ransom. His 1:29:40 in the run was more than 11 minutes faster than anybody else in his age group.
His time earned him a 25th place finish overall in the event.
Sarah Zirkle of Wyoming was the next local triathlete to cross the finish line. She went 5:21:14, good enough for seventh among 45-49 year old women and the 44th woman overall.
Right behind Zirkle was Todd Opdahl of Chisago City. He completed the race in 5:22:29. Although he had a very strong bike time of 2:38:21, his 42 minute swim and nearly two hour run put him in 165th place overall among men and 20th in the 45-49 age group.
Not far behind that duo was Jon Lauritzen of Chisago City with a time of 5:26:32. He finished 37th among 35-39 year old men and 180th place overall.
Other notable locals in the race were:
Brian Romero - Chisago City - 6:11:19
Andrew Obst - Scandia - 6:17:16
S Schlender - Lindstrom - 6:30:58
Joe Virga - Lindstrom - 6:36:56
Among the local relay teams to finish were Lois O'Brien of Lindstrom, teamed with Brandon and Susan Walts of Minneapolis. O'Brien did the running portion, finishing in 1:45:41, and their team took 11th out of 36 relay teams with a time of 5:15:25.
Ben Lewis of Chisago City and Jim Gillach and Kevin Backer of Lindstrom teamed to finish in 19th out of the 36 relay teams.
Lewis finished the swim in 39:39, followed by Gillach's 2:37:46 bike ride. Backer closed out their time with a 2:09:32 in the run for a total time of 5:30:13.
Chisago City's Jack Lundberg and Lindstrom's John Renaker and Tom Tengwall teamed up to finish 23rd of the 36 teams. Renaker opened up with a 55:08 in the swim, Lundberg finished the bike in 2:49:17 and Tengwall ran the last leg in 1:52:25 for a total time of 5:40:39.
Plenty of local competitors participated in the Sprint Distance, which is a .25 mile swim, a 24 mile bike ride and a 3.1 mile run.
Two of them, Riley Darling and Dominic Gamble, were in the 14 and under category, and both finished well. Darling finished in 2:24:30 and Gamble came in at 2:49.20.
Andrew Turner was the top finisher among locals. He was tops in his age group, the 20-24 range, and fourth overall. Although Turner normally participates in Half and Full Ironmans, he took it easy this year, finishing the shortened race in 1:30:58.
Stacy's Zach Good was fifth in that bracket and 57th overall with a time of 1:45:46.
As for the women, only one competitor was in the 14 and under category, G. Wurdemann of Harris. She finished second in the bracket and 253rd overall with a time of 2:34:29.
In the 15-19 category, Lindstrom's A. Forsman was tops with a time of 1:54:58. She set a frantic and rapid pace in the swim, finishing in 5:09.7, which was the top time in the whole sprint.
Behind her was Chelsea Johnson of North Branch. Johnson finished fourth in the bracket with a time of 2:07:20. The former Chisago Lakes High School cross country star finished the run in just under 23 minutes.
Kathryn Royce, Morgan Sperry, Amanda Houle and Kailee Carlson all were local runners who finished in the top 10 in the 15-19 bracket.
Heidi Brower was in the very competitive 25-29 age range and although she only finished fifth in that bracket, she came in 20th overall among women wiht a time of 1:51:25.
Local competitors dominated the sprint relays, placing three teams in the top five and five in the top 10.
The top finishing team was the Peltier trio of Stacy. Sharron Peltier swam the opening leg in 9:21, Paul Peltier finished the biking in 1:06:47 and Sam Peltier closed the race out with a 22:23 run for a final time of 1:40:29, which put them in second place among the sprint relay teams.
The Struve's, which included Jesse and Matt Struve of Chisago City and Bill Struve of Waterville, finished in third with a time of 1:44:59. Bill opened with an 8:52 in the swim, Jesse kept the pace with a 1:07:19 in the biking and Matt finished the relay off with a 26:08 run.
The Olinger's, all from Lindstrom, cracked the top five with a time of 1:46:23. Elizabeth Olinger was the swimmer, and she finished her paddles in 10:29. Joseph Olinger took over on the bike and he raced to a 1:14:46 finish on the wheels. Josh Olinger finished the race for the siblings with an 18:43 run, which was the top running time among relay sprint teams.
A few other notable relay teams included Robert Waddell of Lindstrom, who teamed with John Kampa of Roseville and Nathan Perry of Shoreview to finished in ninth with a 1:52:37.
A young team of Nic Bartz and Tom Braski of Chisago City and Austin Turman of Lindstrom turned in a 1:53:02, which was good enough for 10th place out of 31 teams.