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Triathlon series heats up

Johnson, Matson lead elite field in Race 2

Northwest Guardian

Published: 03:29PM July 26th, 2012
Triathlon series heats up

Scott Hansen/Northwest Guardian

Triathlon participants near the end of the swimming portion of the race July 21 at Shoreline Park on American Lake. The water temperature was 69 degrees at race time.

When Margaret Schuck moved from New York to Joint Base Lewis-McChord last month, locals tried to prepare her for triathlons in the Pacific Northwest. The triathlete and Army spouse got a firsthand lesson when she entered the water at American Lake’s Shoreline Park to compete in her first JBLM Triple Threat Triathlon July 21.

“Everyone told me how cold the water was going to be,” Schuck said. “I got in expecting it to be freezing and it was a lot warmer than I expected.”

American Lake was 69 degrees on race day when more than 100 participants started the second race in the 20th Annual Triple Threat Triathlon series.

Schuck hadn’t raced in a few years and decided to compete in the short swim of 250 meters rather than the longer swim of 800 meters. The race also included a 15-mile bicycle ride and a 3-mile run. Schuck was the first overall female finisher in the triathlon with a time of 1 hour, 15 minutes, 16 seconds. Lisa Matson swam the long route and finished in 1:17:38 to take first in the women’s elite division.

Nick Johnson took first in last month’s triathlon and went on to compete in the Ironman Coeur d’Alene the following week where he just missed qualifying for the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. In his best season yet, Johnson then won the Lakewood Summerfest Triathlon July 1 and returned to JBLM to win the second of the triathlon series in 1:07:16.

Mark Potter finished second behind Johnson in 1:11:14.

“He gained on me on the bike I saw on the turnaround.”Johnson said of Potter. “I pushed it a little harder on the way back and he didn’t catch me.”

The second triathlon of the series brought new faces to JBLM. Tyler Boyd arrived on post two weeks before the triathlon. The first lieutenant with 7th Airlift Squadron was a member of the triathlon team at the Air Force Academy, where he competed in Ironmans and other races. Boyd had been at pilot training the last two years and he didn’t have the opportunity to compete. The JBLM race helped ease him back into it.

“Today the run was my best event,” Boyd said. “Normally it’s the swim, but I haven’t swam in a couple months. I’m getting back in shape.”

Boyd finished second in the 20 to 24-year-old age division with a time of 1:21:35.

Nathan Biar, a sergeant with the 4th Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, competed in the Triple Threat Triathlon series two years ago. The Soldier was deployed last year and is making up for missed races this year.

Biar cycled 200 miles over two days in the Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic the week before he finished fourth in the Elite Division of the triathlon in 1:20:17.

“After Seattle to Portland last week my legs are really tight,” Biar said. “It took three or four miles (on the bike) to fully loosen up and get going.”

The Triple Threat Triathlon finale is scheduled for Aug. 18.

Triathlon results


Top elite male finishers

1. Nick Johnson, 1:07:16

2. Mike Osier, 1:13:31

3. Eric Reid, 1:13:54

Top elite female finishers

1. Lisa Matson, 1:17:38

2. Megan Marion, 1:22:55

3. Karen Ballard, 1:22:57

If You Go

Triple Threat Triathlon Finale

When: Aug. 18, 9 a.m.

Where: Shoreline Park, JBLM

Register: jblmmwr.com/races

Check out the JBLM Triple Threat Triathlon photo gallery in the Northwest Guardian's multimedia section.