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Triathlon: Stromberg repeats at Green Lake

Tribune photo by Rand Middleton The fifth-wave (Sprint men-over-50 and relays) enters Green Lake at Saulsbury Beach in Spicer for the quarter-mile swim on Sunday morning.1 / 6
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Tribune photo by Rand Middleton Lauren Berger, No. 517, sets off from the transition area for the 13.5-mile pedal around Green Lake. The 23-year-old from Grand Forks, N.D., finished 216th of 265 in Sprint.6 / 6

SPICER -- After competing in sports at Crookston High School, Marcus Stromberg downshifted and became a self-confessed "couch potato" for the next dozen years.

Four years ago he decided enough of that and took up, of all things, the triathlon.

The 35-year-old, now living in Buffalo, picked up his fourth career win and second in a row at Green Lake on Sunday morning. He completed the Olympic Course in 1:41.53 creating a nearly 6 minute gap on runner-up Rod Raymond, 47, of Duluth.

Stromberg domination came from a first in the three-quarter-mile swim (15:16), a first in the 22-mile bike (10:56 and the third-best time in the six-mile run (33:53).

He also won this season at Alexandria and Big Lake.

The 9th annual Green Lake Triathlon attracted 78 for the Olympic distance, 265 for the shorter Sprint plus 47 relays, mostly three-person teams. It sprinkled before the 8 a.m. start but stopped before the first wave of swimmers entered the lake. Roads were near dry for the pedal around Green Lake for the Sprinters and also into the country side on county highways for the Oly crew. The morning air was still but the temperature was comfortable 65 degrees under overcast.

The Olympic bike course was shortened by 4 miles this year to avoid going through the Spicer downtown a second time at high speeds (up to 25-30 mph), explained race director Dave Baker.

Each division winner received $100 in cash (in a water bottle).

Besides Stromberg, other division winners were:

Veronica Bond, 40, of Rochester, in the Olympic female: She competed in swimming her junior/senior years at Marshall High School. She works as a nurse. "I'm not a runner but I swam for the Tigers. This is my first overall win. I'm getting ready for an Ironman in two weeks in British Columbia. It's nice to come back to the area and this is a good race."

Teresa Van Hyfte, 46, of Hartford, SD, Sprint female: She placed fifth here a year ago in only her second year in the sport. The fifth-grade teacher started her season in April. "This is my 13th tri [this season] and I think this is my favorite course. I had to come back. There are more people than what I'm used to in the Dakotas. The course is not so challenging because there aren't a lot of hills. And it's such a bonus to have an announcer [Jerry McNeil]." Runner-up Jane Koch, who will be a sophomore at Burnsville High School, posted a time just 8 seconds more than Van Hyfte.

John Shelp, 40, Maple Plain, Sprint male: His first time at Spicer. His three daughters were here in support and a fourth daughter is on the way, he said. He is a cancer survivor (non-Hodgkin Lymphoma) who is getting ready for the Duluth tri next this weekend. "Wow, what a great venue. I was surprised. I'll be next year for sure and do the Olympic."

The Kids Triathlon on Saturday morning had a record turnout of 220.

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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