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Lavin eyes third straight title at Green Lake Triathlon

<b>Rand Middleton</b> Soon after emerging from the swim leg, a triathlete quickly shoes up for the bike leg during the 2008 Green Lake triathlon in Spicer.

SPICER -- Mark Lavin returns to defend his Olympic Course title at the sixth annual Green Lake Triathlon on Sunday morning.

Lavin, 31, from Sioux Falls, S.D., has won both years since the event was extended into both a Sprint and long-course.

The 2008 Sprint champ Robert Brown, 34, of Hopkins is also among the confirmed registrations.

Race director Dave Baker expects numbers similar to last year when 430 competed individually or on a relay. Breaking 500 entrants is a possibility, he added. Registration for the triathlon closed on Wednesday.

Competitors will trace a different route on the bike leg due to road construction on Lake Avenue.

All riders will head out through downtown Spicer and clockwise around Green Lake until County Park No. 5. Sprint riders will return on the same road.

The Olympic course continues another mile around the lake before heading east, then north and back west to make a circuit of Lake Calhoun before rejoining North Lake Shore Drive at the county park.

The races begin and finish at Melvin's On the Lake at Saulsbury Beach.

The distances are ¾-mile swim, 24-mile bike, and six-mile run on the long course and ¼ swim, 12.5-mile bike and three-mile run for the Sprint. A small portion of both runs on the south-shore road will be on hard pack.

Swimmers will leave in six waves starting at 8 a.m. Sunday.

The second annual Kid's Marathon starts at 9 a.m. Saturday. Registration will be taken on day of race. Last year around 140 children ages 3-14 participated.

The triathlon at Spicer was brought back in 2004 and has continued to increase in popularity. The original triathlon, named Fun in the Sun, was held from 1984 to 1992.

Outstate registrations have come in from Connecticut, Texas, Nebraska, both Dakotas, Iowa, Wisconsin, Colorado, Arizona, Idaho, Ohio, Indiana and Georgia.

Last year's winning times were 1:51:35 Olympic overall, 2:23:11 Olympic women, 58:40 Sprint overall and 1:06.27 Sprint women.

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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