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Personal records fall at Deuces Wild

Northwest Guardian

Published: 01:39PM August 21st, 2014

2014 Deuces Wild Triathlon top finishers

Sprint distance

Men – 1) Anthony Webster, 1:06:49.3; 2) Samuel Best, 1:10:21.7; 3) Anthony Rudd, 1:10:21.7.

Women - 1) Amanda Rodgers, 1:13:22.3; 2) Tracey Swenson, 1:14:18; 3) Emily Lund, 1:19:01.4.


Olympic distance

Men – 1) David Hsu, 2:04:29.1; 2) Dane Balbu, 2:06:57.8; 3) Mark Potter, 2:13:04.4.

Women - 1) Erin Anderson, 2:21:41.8; 2) Nicole Yedlinsky, 2:33:41.5; 3) Mandy Broady, 2:39:49.3.

You’re only as old as you feel; and David Hsu, a retired lieutenant colonel from 1st Special Forces Group, said he doesn’t feel 46 years old.

His first-place finish in the 2014 Deuces Wild Triathlon’s olympic-distance race shows that as he finished a 1,500-meter swim, 25-mile bicycle ride and a 10K run in two hours, four minutes and 29.1 seconds, Aug. 15 at Shoreline Park on JBLM Lewis North.

“Triathlons are accessible to the older generations,” Hsu said, noting that two of the top three finishers were 40 years or older.

Mark Potter, 46 and a retired doctor from Madigan Army Medical Center at JBLM, finished third place in 2:13:04.4.

After staying near the front of the pack through the swim and bike segments, Hsu was able to overtake Dane Balbu, of Kitsap, midway through the run, when Ballou was slowed down by leg cramps.

Considering himself above-average in all three parts of the triathlon, Hsu credited being able to conserve his energy until he found the right opportunity to gun for a larger lead.

“I saved my energy for the base of the hill (on 17th Street), and I pushed it hard to put a gap between (Balbu) and me,” Hsu said.

Since his retirement from the Army, Hsu said he credits the Team Red, White and Blue organization for encouraging veterans nationwide toward health and physical fitness. He’s also been able to complete three Ironman races (a triathlon with a total distance of 140.6 miles) and is already looking ahead for future triathlons in the Puget Sound region.

“When I retired, I had PTSD,” Hsu said. “Exercise and triathlons really helped me cope with leaving the military. I found camaraderie and teamwork in the athletic community.”

Erin Anderson was the fastest among the females in the Olympic distance triathlon, with a time of 2:21:41. It was about 18 minutes faster than her first olympic-distance race last year at the second of the Deuces Wild Triathlon series (2:39:34).

Anderson said the hardest part wasn’t any of the physically demanding sections of the race, but being ahead of the main pack and almost running solo near the end.

“You don’t know how fast or slow you’re going,” Anderson said. “You don’t have anyone to gauge your speed. Sometimes you think you’re lost.”

The event also attracted 132 athletes who tested themselves with the Sprint course, which included a 500-meter swim in American Lake, a 14-mile bicycle ride and a 5K run.

Andrew Webster hadn’t been able to train for an olympic-distance race due to his focus on military training, but said many people can prepare for the shorter sprint race. He finished first overall in the sprint, with a time of 1:06:49.3.

“It’s a great way to get your cardio up,” Webster said. “You can cross train and not wear down your body. Once you do one or two, it becomes addictive.”

In additional to more than 100 individuals aiming to beat their personal best times, there were also groups that completed the triathlon as a relay team. After a sub-30 minute run, Thomas Bolt helped his team finish the Olympic course in under two hours (1:58:01) with Ben Scott and Jodie Bolt.

The trio beat their team record from last year’s triathlon time of 2:12:00, but don’t have any plans to split up and tackle the race as individual participants.

“That’s a whole different beast,” Scott said. “It’s just fun to do the team race.”