Josh Kuhlman admits winning this year’s Kewpee/Lima YMCA Triathlon held at the Ottawa Metro Park was not as exciting as capturing his first one last year, but the 17-year-old from Shawnee admitted it was just as sweet.
Kuhlman raced to a first place time of 1:10.09. Taking second place was Jonathen Robey with a time of 1:11.47.1 and Keith Ranly rounded out the top three with a time of 1:14.34.8.
“It feels a little bit different because last year’s was the first time so I think it meant more but it feels great,” Kuhlman said.
The triathlon began with a 500-yard swim, followed by a 15-mile bike run and concluded with a 5k run.
With a slightly new design for the course and the finish line positioned in a different spot, Kuhlman lost some seconds when he came off the bicycle and their was some miscommunication on which direction to go to the beginning of the 5k start but was quickly pointed to the path.
“It was definitely a problem because I got off my bike and ran 20 seconds in the wrong direction,” Kuhlman said. “I had to turn around and by that time other people were finishing (the bike) that could have caught me. It scared me a little bit and made me a little anxious.”
Despite the minor setback, Kuhlman said he felt control on the bike and once he hit the 5k he added that he felt confident he could win the event.
By winning it a second, time Kuhlman, who had a brother and sister win the event, keeps up a family tradition.
“It keeps the family name going,” Kuhlman said.
Abbie Meyers, who as runner-up last year, took top honors in the female division. Meyers garnered top honors with a time of 1:19.44.9. Kathleen Colvin grab second with a run of 1:25.04.8 and Kristy Birkemeier came in with a time of 1:28.24.8 to snare third place.
“It was perfect conditions,” Meyers said. “It wasn’t hot and no wind. The water was great and you couldn’t ask for a better day.”
Meyers added that she tried to keep a fast pace and sprint to the end. She said she swam with a fellow competitor and then entered the bicycle portion pretty much alone and then began to pull away during the 5K.
In addition to the triathlon, a duathlon, consisting on the 15-mile bike run and the 5K, was also run and Sean Martin was the top finisher with a time of 1:15.54.1. Anthony Tegenkamp placed second with a time of 1:30.27.4 and Dylan Arhert was third with a time of 1:34.44.1.
In the team division, Briggs finished first in the triathlon with a time of 1:17.45.2 and Trifecta was second with a time of 1:37.17.1 and NEMO was third with a time of 1:59.50.3. Kinworthy won the dualthon team race with a time of 1:39.42.8.
C.J. Hernandez, YMCA Health and Wellness director and one of the organizers of the event, said it was another successful triathlon and the rain held off to add to some ideal conditions for racing.
“It was really great weather and we were lucky to have Kewpee sponsor this event,” Hernandez said. “This is a very entry level triathlon so for those looking to train or just getting into triathlon this is a great event for it.”
Numbers hovered around the same from previous years and Hernandez said they are looking at future options to better promote the event.