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New face captures triathlon series finale

Runner up in previous race caps summer series with win before starting college career next week

Published: 01:42PM August 23rd, 2012
New face captures triathlon series finale

Scott Hansen/Northwest Guardian

Participants race across American Lake during the 750-meter first leg of the Triple Threat Triathlon series finale Aug. 18 at Shoreline Park. The event included 130 competitors.

The Triple Threat Triathlon series finale featured elite talent and a new overall winner.

Nick Johnson, who won the first two races of the series in June and July, was absent for the August finale Saturday at Shoreline Park on Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Recent high school graduate Dane Ballou, who finished runner-up to Johnson in June, finished the series with the overall win in 1 hour, 9 minutes.

“I trained hard this week and this is a good way to cap off the week,” the 18-year-old said. “It was a fight. I really had to dig deep on the run.”

Next week Ballou will head to the University of Colorado where he’ll compete on the triathlon team. He is also training for the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii in October.

Elizabeth Thiel also qualified for the elite race in Kona, but the expectant mother won’t be able to compete. At 24 weeks pregnant, Thiel formed a relay team with Lisa Hallett and Karen Antonowicz to compete at the Triple Threat Triathlon.

“Her baby wanted to do it’s first triathlon,” Antonowicz said.

While Thiel is a stronger cyclist she chose to participate in the 750-meter swim in the 70-degree American Lake to keep her heart rate low. Antonowicz cycled the 15-mile route through Lewis North and Lisa Hallett, founder and CEO of local running organization, “wear blue: run to remember,” finished the relay with the three-mile run.

“Lisa is used to running ultramarathons; 50 miles, not just three,” Thiel said.

The wear blue: run to remember trio was the first team to finish out of the six relay teams.

Jason Osborne, who competed in the first triathlon and then volunteered as part of the event staff the second race, returned to compete in the finale with 130 other participants. Osborne is a volunteer at Wilson Gym where he repairs spin bikes. This year is Osborne’s first year competing in triathlons but by the end of the summer he will have completed five races. He logged more than 400 miles running and cycling between the June and August Triple Threat triathlon races.

“I’ve definitely got more training in since the first one,” Osborne said. “I kicked it really hard for this one.”

Osborne chose to compete in the short swim option (250-meters) in the race and finished the race in 1:09:58.

“I’m not as hard core as the long swim guys yet,” he said.

The Half Marathon is the next JBLM FMWR race Saturday, Sept. 15 at 8 a.m. The start line will be near the special event tent on Liggett Avenue on Lewis Main.

To see more photos of the Triple Threat Triathlon Series finale visit the Northwest Guardian's multimedia section.