LIMA – Most families enjoy doing things together.
However, the Kuhlman family takes it to an entirely different level.
At Sunday’s Lima YMCA/Kewpee Triathlon/Duathlon at Ottawa Metro Park, the Kuhlmans made their name known when siblings Derek Kuhlman and Jamie Kuhlman won the overall men’s and women’s titles in the triathlon.
Derek, who is 16 and a junior at Shawnee, edged out 40-year-old Nathan Long for the victory in the men’s race. Kuhlman’s winning time was 1 hour, 10.36.6 seconds, while Long finished in 1:10.47.7.
In the women’s competition, Jamie, an 18-year-old who graduated from Shawnee this spring, defended her title from a year ago as she defeated second-place finisher Leah Long. Kuhlman won in 1:17.47.2, while Long finished in 1:19.53.7. The 46-year-old Long, a veteran of the Kewpee Triathlon, is the sister of Nathan Long.
Sunday’s triathlon consisted of a 500-yard swim, a 15-mile bike and a 5-kilometer run.
There also was a duathlon that ran in conjunction with the triathlon. The duathletes did a 2-mile run, a 15-mile bike and then a 5K run.
Derek and Jamie were not the only Kuhlman family members who competed on Sunday. Their father, Kurt, won his age group in the triathlon. The 50-year-old Kuhlman crossed the finish line in 1:15.43.
Their mother, 48-year-old Julie, took second in her age group, finishing in 1:39.24.2. Kylie Kuhlman, 14, finished third in her age group, crossing the line in 1:38.23.2. And 12-year-old Joshua, took third in his respective age group (1:29.31.4).
Another sibling, 20-year-old Amanda, also competes in triathlons but was on a trip and was unable to compete this year.
“I’ve trained a lot for it. …It feels good,” Derek Kuhlman said. “It’s really cool. Me, my dad and sister train a lot. We go on early-morning bike rides together.
“On the bike rides, we mess around and try to pass each other. And we run together and talk about who has the faster times and things. We have different paces, so it’s hard sometimes. But, like with the bike, we can definitely do it together. We go to the Y and swim laps at the same time.”
Derek competes in cross country, wrestling and track at Shawnee.
Jamie competed in cross country, swimming and track throughout high school. She said despite having relay teams mixed in with the individual competitors on Sunday, she was able to stay on top of where she was place-wise.
“It’s kind of hard to tell, since I can’t tell who is out front,” Jamie said. “But I have five family members out there. So, they tell me where I am when they pass me, going the other way. But, for the girls, it’s pretty easy since we all start together.”
Abigail Meyers, 32, finished third in the women’s triathlon (1:21.27).
In the men’s triathlon, longtime triathlete Jeff Brown finished third overall in 1:12.23.5. Brown, 55, who has won the Kewpee nine times in his career, was making a comeback after enduring a setback.
Due to health reasons, Brown hasn’t competed in this event for a while.
“I skipped it two years. …And I think I’ll skip it another two,” Brown said with a smile. “About a year ago, at this time, I lost 41 pounds. A year ago, last spring, I had two stents put into an artery that was 80-percent blocked. So, that (procedure) helped.”
Brown, a teacher at Shawnee and also a retired swim coach, was the first athlete to get out of the water on the swim stage.
“Today, I was just trying to stay ahead of everybody,” Brown said. “I figure the best way to stay out of third is to chase after first, which was a futile effort. But, I’m happy.”
In the duathlon races, 26-year-old Jason Barnhorst took first in the men’s competition, winning in 1:13.20.4. Matt Schluneker, 22, was second in 1:19.03.2 and Tom Ballas, 14, took third (1:21.54.7).
In the women’s duathlon, 40-year-old Kristi Lehmkuhl won in 1:30.42.1. Megan Thomas finished second, while Tina Barnhorst was third.