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Green Lake Tri: Allen takes home first win

Tribune photo by Rand Middleton Emily Allen, 29, of Bloomington reaches the finishes line in first place in the women’s Sprint (26th overall), her first triathlon victory. Nathan Hultgren, 37, of Raymond finished 51st of 100 in the men’s division.1 / 2
Tribune photo by Rand Middleton David Phillips pedals on Lake Avenue South nearing the end of the 13.5-mile bike leg of the Green Lake Triathlon on Sunday. He averaged 24.6 mph to take over the lead.2 / 2

SPICER — Here are the numbers for the Green Lake Triathlon Sunday at Saulsbury Beach:

66: degree Fahrenheit at 8 a.m. start.

165: number of individual finishers for the Sprint Course (1/4-mile swim, 13-1/2-mile bike, 3-mile run).

47: number of individual finishers for the Olympic Course (3/4-mile swim, 22-mile bike, 6-mile run).

19: total number of relay teams (16 in Sprint).

3: Number of first time triathlon winners.

“This is crazy,” said women’s Sprint-course champion Emily Allen, 29, of Bloomington. “I’ve been first in my age group before, but this is the first time that I’ve won a triathlon overall. Did you think an internal auditor could have so much fun.”

She was still smiling 90 minutes later at the awards presentation on the Zorbaz deck overlooking the lake, as silver as the thick overcast above.

Her husband Christopher also had a nice race, finishing on the podium for the first time with a third place in his age group. Both competed in the Graniteman at Big Lake on Saturday, and then stayed at her boss’s cabin on Green Lake.

Her winning time was 1:16.33, nearly three minutes up on second-place Tracy Sik, 44, of Willmar. Sik, the area’s premier female 5k runner, posted the fastest 3-mile time (21:40) but also showed that she can freestyle and crank a bike. Lynn Scheevel, 42, Albert Lea took third; she’s Spicer native who comes up for the race each year.

Here’s a glimpse of other winners (really, there are no losers in a fitness event):

n Moshe Peri, 37, finished second in the men’s Sprint. His city is listed as Jerusalem, which is where he grew up, but he lives in Minnetonka with his wife, Delila and three small children. He met Delila, a St. Louis Park native, when she was studying in Israel. “I was looking on-line for a race held at this time and I came across this race and read the reviews and they all said they ‘love it’ so I signed up and I’ll be back next year.”

n David Phillips, 28, of Maple Grove won the Sprint in 1:02.27, which was 2:33 up on Peri. He had the fastest bike by over two minutes and the third best swim. His training has been spotty fighting off injury and sickness plus, not unwillingly, the responsibilities of a new baby in the family. The New Zeeland native is a groundskeeper at Golden Valley Golf and Country Club who did the Olympic course here in 2012, his first year in triathlons. He won three races 2013. Three-time winner Robert Brown of Hopkins (and twice second) placed third. Parker Roehl, 16, of St. Bonifacius took fourth turning in the only sub-seven minute swim.

n Finishing fourth was Timothy Harmon, 35, of Shakopee. This was his 15th tri this season and plans four more after doing 13 in 2013. “I started running two years ago for a healthier lifestyle at the urging of our oldest son and to honor the memory of my grandfather who died of a heart attack.” He and with his wife, Jodi, were high-school sweethearts in Hattiesburg, Miss., before moving north. “I like this race; it’s got a lot of contestants but has that family atmosphere that you get at smaller races.”

n In only his third triathlon Nick Nygaard,24, of Duluth, won the Olympic overall in 1:50.48, 52 seconds up on Casey Miller, 35, of Baxter. Nygaard, who finished second in his other two races, works for the Duluth Running Co., a fitness store that also promotes races. He’s a Wahpeton, N.D., native who picked out the race with a “Good buddy for a nice road trip.” He came off the bike in seventh but a blistering 5:20 pace over the six finishing miles thrust him to the front of the pack. Miller, a Brainerd teacher and an elite runner, had won his last three outings.

n Sheena Dauer, 32, of Montevideo took first in the women’s long course in a time of 2:03.58, six minutes up on second-place Jennifer Neuman, 44, of Ramsey. Dauer, a native of Springfield and a physical therapist, moved to Monte a year ago. “I’d like to compliment the race director and volunteers. This is a very good course, I think.” She posted the fastest swim and run and third-best time on the bike. Race announcer Jerry McNeal said Dauer had been posting good results at these distances so her victory came as “no surprise.”

n Rebecca Werner, 41, arose early in New Ulm to leave for Spicer. She packed her gear in the dark so not to wake her four children. When she got to Saulsbury Beach, she realized she had only one running shoe. “I started looking around at volunteers who might have my shoe size, an 8½. When I saw a pair I asked her if we could exchange and I’d give her my flip flops. She looked at me kinda funny and quipped ‘Do you want my socks, too?’ ” An hour after her race, Werner was still looking about for the kindly volunteer for a reverse exchange.

n There were 16 relays in the Sprint. The Willmar trifecta of John Seifert and company won for the third year in a row. Seifert, his son Thomas and Michael McLain finished nine minutes up on second-place duo of Jarrett Hubbard and Ryan Barney. McLain, who swims for the Gusties, and Tom, who will run at Augustana in the fall, were far out front in their disciplines while John, a Little Falls native, had the third best bike tour. John and Michael were runners-up in 2011 with Martin Jannig on the run leg. John’s oldest son, C.J., ran in other years.

See Tuesday’s Tribune for more results and photos.

Rand Middleton
Tribune photographer/videographer. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime news/sports beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 
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