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Familiar turf

Hometown runner takes 1st at 2nd annual Tri-the-Kenai

Posted: June 13, 2011 - 7:38am
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Logan Tuttle
Jens Beck of Anchorage crosses the finish line of the second annual Tri-the-Kenai triathlon Sunday at Skyview High School. Beck finished first in the men’s division.

Who says you can’t come home again?

Joleen Smith, a product of Nikiski High School, finished first in the women’s race at the Tri-the-Kenai triathlon Sunday at Skyview High School. Smith saw the event as a “bonus” since it was in her backyard.

“I just love this because I get to come home,” Smith said. “I’m from Nikiski so I come home and my family gets to be there, not like the races in Anchorage.”

Smith finished about a minute before the next finisher in the women’s division with a time of 1 hour, 1 minute and 2 seconds, more than a minute ahead of Martha Marlow in second place, and Kelly McCann in third.

The triathlon had over 200 participants, compared to the 140 from last year’s inaugural event.

The race consisted of a 500-yard swim in the pool, then racers mounted their bikes for a 10-mile highway race. Finally, there was a five-kilometer run through the Tsalteshi Trails behind the school. There were two youth events, participants ages 5-9 completed a three-kilometer bike and a two-kilometer run through the trails. The 10-14 age group completed a four-kilometer bike and three-kilometer run.

Journey Miller, 9, finished in first place in the female 5-9 age group, and Aimee Schmitt, 14, took first place in the female 10-14 age group. Gabe Bruno, 8, took first in the male 5-9 age group and Sam McElroy, 11, was first in the male 10-14 age group.

Smith, a cross-country coach at South Anchorage High School, joked about having to share the trail with the wildlife that is so prevalent on the Kenai Peninsula.

“I love the course, you can’t get more beautiful than that. Out on the trails, I had a bunny shoot past me. A couple of times I had to turn around and make sure there wasn’t more wildlife behind me,” Smith said.

Jens Beck finished first in the men’s division with a time of 49:34 seconds, just about three minutes ahead of last year’s winner, Jason Lamoreaux, in second place and Andrew Duenow finished third. Beck had much praise for the organizers of the event and said the course was top-notch.

“The course was really beautiful, I thought it was entertaining and really fun, really fast, and I enjoyed it,” Beck said. 

Matt Spence from Anchorage said he was glad the course was well-marked since he got “a little lost” during last week’s Eagle River Triathlon.

One of the goals of the race was to welcome experienced and nonexperienced runners alike, said Tony Oliver, co-race director.

“We wanted to do something for first-time triathletes, so it’s a sprint race, fairly short,” Oliver said. “It’s perfect for folks to get a first race in and get a feel for it.”

Oliver said Tri The Kenai wanted to give back to the community, and the triathlon was a good way to do just that while focusing on women’s cancer. Jenn Sommermann participated in the event as part of her goal to run in 50 triathlons in 50 states to raise money for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. Oliver said between donations from participants and proceeds from the race, $1,000 will be contributed to her goal of raising $100,000 for the cause. Alaska was Sommermann’s 25th state. DeeDee Jonrowe also participated in the event. Both Sommermann and Jonrowe are cancer survivors. Sommermann finished in 13th place and Jonrowe finished in 43rd place in the women’s division.

Homer resident Barb Baysinger said she met Jonrowe during the race and joined Smith and Beck in praising the course.

“I thought it was a fantastic race. Overall it was just really fun and well-marked, a great first race,” the 43-year-old Baysinger said.

Spectators and racers alike were very supportive of each other, with an emphasis on fun instead of hard-core competition.

Daniel Beiswenger, 23, of Anchorage told a story about receiving help from Beck during a race in Big Lake last year.

“Right when I was getting done with my bike, he just finished his run and helped me put my bike up, he’s a nice guy,” Beiswenger said.

Beiswenger said he participated with his brother, and enjoyed what the event had to offer.

“This is pretty amazing, the way they set this up and how professional it is,” he said. “I was pretty amazed, it’s very cool. I’ll definitely have to come back next year,” Beiswenger said.

Baysinger said her favorite part was being able to socialize with the other women she was near during the race.

“We just had so much fun talking in line. We were just having fun,” she said.

Tri-the-Kenai

Sunday at Skyview High School

500-meter swim, 10-mile bike, 5-kilometer run

Men’s results
1. Jens Beck, 49 minutes, 34 seconds; 2. Jason Lamoreaux, 52:27; 3. Andrew Duenow, 53:23; 4. Luke Kiskaddon, 56:12; 5. Mick Bakker, 58:58; 6. Brad Benter, 1:00:28; 7. Lee Helzer, 1:00:41; 8. Keith MacPhail, 1:04:36; 9. Joe Anders, 1:04:57; 10. Ted Donat, 1:06:54; 11. Daniel Beiswenger, 1:08:05; 12. Robert Smith, 1:08:13; 13. Bob Ulbrich, 1:08:47; 14. Ken Fitzgerald, 1:11:17; 15. Daniel McElroy, 1:11:28; 16. Jamie Dittrich, 1:11:58; 17. Joe McElroy, 1:12:52; 18. Walter Ward, 1:13:18; 19. Jesse Tapley, 1:14:10; 20. Jeff Miller, 1:14:26; 21. Jason Moore, 1:14:28; 22. Ryan Hoffman, 1:14:47; 23. Lawrence Sauer, 1:15:56; 24. David Martin, 1:17:02; 25. James Tapley, 1:17:32; 26. Matt Spence, 1:17:54; 27. Adam Anders, 1:18:03; 28. David Beiswenger, 1:23:08; 29. Robert Rurka, 1:24:04; 30. Scott Huff, 1:24:27; 31. Ross Sorenson, 1:26:51; 32. Dustin Skelton, 1:29:02; 33. George Jedlicka, 1:29:18; 34. John Sanborn, 1:31:55; 35. Ben Toungue, 1:35:46; 36. Wade Strickland, 1:37:09; 37. Tobin Brennan, 1:38:39; 38. Corey Morgan, 1:40:32; 39. Domenic Cordle, 1:46:25; 40. Stephen Hart, 2:03:06.

Women’s results
1. Joleen Smith, 1 hour, 1 minute, 2 seconds; 2. Martha Marlow, 1:02:22; 3. Kelly McCann, 1:03:24; 4. Lori Manion, 1:04:47; 5. Alisa Kincaid, 1:05:27; 6. Katy Rosane, 1:05:29; 7. Meaghan Kuklok, 1:06:15; 8. Cory Lehl, 1:08:12; 9. Diana Burbank, 1:10:06; 10. Kathleen Buss, 1:10:43; 11. Theresa Chihuly, 1:11:06; 12. Richell Carmichael, 1:14:26; 13. Jenn Sommermann, 1:14:34; 14. Tracy Pitts, 1:14:37; 15. Kristin Morrow, 1:15:15; 16. Annie Ridgely, 1:15:49; 17. Catie Coursen, 1:15:57; 18. Barb Baysinger, 1:16:23; 19. Oralee Nudson, 1:16:34; 20. Alice Anderson, 1:19:29; 21. Pamela Winders, 1:20:30; 22. Cassady Marshall, 1:20:41; 23. Yvonne Henrickson, 1:20:50; 24. Nicki Schmitt, 1:21:16; 25. Heather Nash, 1:21:29; 26. Michelle Quinton, 1:21:53; 27. Mona Bremont, 1:22:47; 28. Janet Phelps, 1:23:24; 29. Kristin Hynne, 1:23:38; 30. Wendy Newman, 1:23:54; 31. Tara Kulin, 1:24:05; 32. Chelsea Springer, 1:24:29; 33. Terri Springer, 1:24:44; 34. Katharine Tongue, 1:24:54; 35. Anna Boutwell, 1:26:03; 36. Kelsey Tranel, 1:26:04; 37. Tawnya Roberts, 1:26:11; 38. Tamara Miller, 1:27:16; 39. Regina Daniels, 1:27:27; 40. Nadia Anders, 1:28:14; 41. Julie Laker, 1:29:15; 42. Juliet Bramante, 1:29:47; 43. DeeDee Jonrowe, 1:30:41; 44. Cassie Collins, 1:31:55; 45. Laura Asbell, 1:32:15; 46. Kelly Luck, 1:32:16; 47. Samantha Schloesser, 1:32:38; 48. Jennifer Hronkin, 1:33:57; 49. Tammy Strausbaugh, 1:34:20; 50. Lisa Renken, 1:34:22; 51. Gina Pollard, 1:35:23; 52. Susan Reeves, 1:35:55; 53. Amanda Hillis, 1:36:39; 54. Julie Kane, 1:38:37; 55. Rachel Kastner, 1:38:54; 56. Jennifer Strauss, 1:38:59; 57. Esther Hamilton, 1:39:35; 58. Charla Lee, 1:42:45; 59. Naomi Barker, 1:42:51; 60. Christy Hronkin, 1:48:05; 61. Jennifer Quimby, 1:48:10; 62. Ruth Sensenig, 1:54:56; 63. Jennifer Watkins, 1:57:25; 64. Jennifer Gilhuly, 2:00:28; 65. Nyla Lightcap, 2:04:56; 66. Dana Fraley, 2:05:15; 67. Yvonne Oren, 2:24:22.

Youth Event

3-kilometer bike, 2-kilometer run

Male Age Group 5-9
1. Gabe Bruno, 31 minutes, 11 seconds; 2. Aiden Huff, 38:40; Camden Benter, 41:18.

Female Age Group 5-9
1. Journey Miller, 33 minutes, 33 seconds; 2. Grace Morrow, 34:43; 3. Emma Snyder, 35:29; 4. Grace McElroy, 36:01; 5. Riley Reese, 37:10; 6. Sadie Benter, 37:11; 7. Anya Danielson, 38:09; 8. Madison Snyder, 40:21; 9. Katelynn Best, 42:23; 10. Magnolia Howe, 48:46; 11. Rileigh Pace, 49:13.

4-kilometer bike, 3-kilometer run

Male Age Group 10-14
1. Sam McElroy, 33 minutes, 46 seconds; 2. Justin Ellison, 35:56; 3. Karl Danielson, 37:46; 4. Tanner Best, 38:51; 5. Jeremy Kupferschmid, 40:00; 6. Adam Trujillo, 42:08; 7. Daniel Boatright, 43:12; 8. Hunter Reese, 44:40; 9. Matthew Minium, 48:46; 10. Gideon Colliver, 52:43; 11. Billy Morrow, 59:48.

Female Age Group 10-14
1. Aimee Schmitt, 38 minutes, 55 seconds; 2. Madeline White, 39:26; 3. Abigail Luck, 40:17; 4. Ina Allen, 40:17; 5. Savannah Clark, 42:09; 6. May Bruno, 44:21; 7. Olivia Brewer, 44:25; 8. Claire McElroy, 45:20; 9. Elena Bramente, 46:59; 10. Kaitlynn Boyer, 47:07; 11. Mimi Allen, 47:08; 12. Courtney Barker, 48:17; 13. Matthea Boatright, 49:12; 14. Breona Delon, 50:39; 15. Emma Luck, 51:04.

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