Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion Sprint competitor Lee Frey of Soldotna competes in the 500-yard swim portion of Tri the Kenai on Sunday at Skyview Middle School.

Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion Sprint competitor Lee Frey of Soldotna competes in the 500-yard swim portion of Tri the Kenai on Sunday at Skyview Middle School.

Crawford rides home-course edge to Tri the Kenai victory

Running. Biking. Skiing. Organizing races. Serving on the board. Kenai’s Mike Crawford has seemingly done it all at Tsalteshi Trails.

Now he can add winning a Tri the Kenai Sprint championship to the list.

Crawford used a crisp, five-kilometer run of 20 minutes, 25 seconds, on the trails to finish at 58:21 and unseat two-time defending champ Shannon Fore of Anchorage, whose run leg was 23:11 of his 59:41 total time in the seventh staging of the event.

Anchorage’s Jenny Kimball was the women’s Sprint winner at 1:02:09 over the 1:06:15 of Sophie Wittingham, while both Jason Lamoreaux of Anchorage and Jenifer Kohout of Anchorage defended their Intermediate crowns. Lamoreaux went 1:48:49 to best the 2:07:08 of runner-up Cole Abarr, while Kohout’s 2:12:57 got the better of runner-up Anna Berington’s 2:22:49.

“There was so much amazing local support here,” said Crawford, 40, a 1994 graduate of Kenai Central. “It was the home-course advantage, for sure.

“There were so many friends and family supporting me. And, of course, my coach Angie Brennan.”

Crawford returned to the central Kenai Peninsula in late 2011 after living on a sailboat in the South Pacific for 10 years. Naturally, that meant he had some catching up to do when he took up triathlon in 2012.

“I didn’t even own a bike and I wasn’t a runner,” he said. “I surfed, so that helped with the swim.”

Slowly working his way up the standings, Crawford took third in last year’s Sprint, which entails a 500-yard swim at Skyview Middle School, a 10-mile bike ride from the Sterling Highway to Echo Lake Road to Gas Well Road to Kalifornsky Beach Road to the Sterling Highway, and a 5K run at Tsalteshi.

Crawford’s time was 17 seconds faster than Fore’s in the pool, but the defending champ crushed the bike portion, finishing at 27:32 to Crawford’s 29:33.

“I was happy to have the lead coming out of the pool,” Crawford said. “Then two minutes in on the bike, and, whoosh, he was gone. I’m like, ‘Am I still moving?’”

But back on the twists, turns and constant up and downs that make up the home grounds of Tsalteshi, Crawford had passed Fore after the two-kilometer Moose loop en route to his first victory in a USA Triathlon-sanctioned event.

In the women’s Sprint, Kimball, 45, ended the drama early with a dominant bike leg. That left all the suspense to her 9-year-old son, Murphy, in the Youth race as the family went for a double victory. Murphy was able to edge out Koda Poulin by a few hundredths of a second, with both posting times of 31:19 in the 100-yard swim, four-kilometer bike and three-kilometer run.

Kimball said she had her best swim of the season and really enjoyed the rolling bike ride on early Sunday roads bereft of traffic. As for the run? She was glad not to have to push it on Tsalteshi’s jagged hills.

“I had knee surgery three and a half years ago, so I’m not the runner I used to be,” she said.

Kimball and her husband, Will, are both endurance athletes of note — Jenny in biathlon and Will as a runner. But, as Murphy and daughter Sophie, 5, both conducted an informal long jump competition on the sand volleyball court at Skyview, the couple said the focus is now passing affinity for fitness to their children.

“We’re looking to get our daughter in this next year,” Jenny said.

The Intermediate event, added in 2014, has a 1,000-yard swim and two trips around the 10-mile bike course. Competitors then take on the most brutal terrain Tsalteshi has to offer in a 10K run that includes Kill Bill hill as well as the hills on the Mountain Goat and Bear loops.

What kind of mindset is needed to repeat as champ in this kind of event? The ability to turn mountains into molehills, both literally and figuratively.

Turning a literal mountain into a molehill was Lamoreaux, 37. Minutes after finishing, Lamoreaux informed Tony Oliver, event director, that he had to get on the road to Seward to climb Mount Marathon, because this would be his last opportunity to get on the imperious 3,022-foot test overlooking Seward before the July 4 race.

Really? You’re climbing Mount Marathon today?

“I’ll get a couple of hours rest on the way over,” Lamoreaux said.

Really?

“I’m not racing it,” he added. “Just hiking.”

And with that, the man who got to the top of the hill on Mountain Goat and was confident enough to state he was not hallucinating when he saw a coyote (after all, the Coyote loop joins Mountain Goat at that junction) was off.

Turning a figurative mountain into a molehill was Kohout, 52.

She thought she was on a relatively flat cruise to victory when it turned out she had forgotten one thing from last year. She still had to do the Bear hill.

For starters, the Bear hill is something most people’s legs and lungs won’t let them forget. And coming upon it when a flat finish was assumed should be occasion for at least minor mental crisis.

Not for Kohout.

“I just like the mental challenge of it,” she said. “It’s a really hilly course, but I like it because it’s challenging.”

Relay victories went to Graceful Gazelles in the Sprint and D3 in the Youth.

Oliver, who drew kudos all around for putting on a smooth event, said Tri the Kenai was expected to raise about $1,000 for Serenity House Treatment Center.

He said the participant number of 222 was slightly up, but that the event is always looking for more ways to get community members and kids involved.

2016 Tri the Kenai results

Sprint

(500-yard swim, 10-mile bike, 5-kilometer run)

MEN

1. Mike Crawford, 58:21; 2. Shannon Fore,59:41; 3. Kirk Burns, 1:01:49; 4. Ryan Wiswesser, 1:03:13; 5. Jason Moore, 1:03:38; 6. Peter Malecha, 1:05:28; 7. Matt Dammeyer, 1:07:02; 8. Jim Brewer, 1:09:30; 9. Kevin Lauver, 1:10:22; 10. Lee Frey, 1:12:33; 11. Nathan Olson, 1:13:12; 12. Sean Goff, 1:13:36; 13. Jordan Chilson, 1:14:29; 14. Nathan Kincaid, 1:17:26; 15. Boomer Blossom, 1:17:42; 16. Mark Laker,1:17:51; 17. Christopher Cavanaugh, 1:18:20; 18. Ryan Kapp, 1:20:28; 19. Edward Doerr, 1:23:35; 20. Hunter Hollingsworth, 1:23:44; 21. Carl Kincaid, 1:23:54; 22. Josh Resnick, 1:27:33; 23. Brian Mustacci, 1:30:00; 24. Kevin Chambers, 1:30:07; 25. Scott Glosser, 1:40:06.

26. Philip Giorgione, 1:44:34; 27. Chris Hester, 1:46:15 28. Wiliam Richard, 2:04:04.

WOMEN

1. Jenny Kimball, 1:02:09; 2. Sophie Whittingham, 1:06:15; 3. Angie Brennan, 1:07:57; 4. Emily Wiswesser, 1:09:00; 5. Adrianna Proffitt, 1:11:12; 6. Ashley Tonione, 1:11:41; 7. Morgan Aldridge, 1:12:00; 8. Davina Kinney, 1:12:07; 9. Kelsey Tranel, 1:12:19; 10. Heather Onders, 1:15:17; 11. Haylee Donovan, 1:15:27; 12. Jeanette Legenza, 1:16:36; 13. Alena Gerlek, 1:17:33; 14. Stephanie Trafton, 1:17:46; 15. Sienna Laughton, 1:18:02; 16. Helen Carroll, 1:19:00; 17. Heather Dekalb, 1:19:02 18. Jennifer Neff, 1:19:46; 19. Tamara LaFrancois, 1:20:22; 20. Kris Miller, 1:20:47; 21. Patty Moran, 1:21:41; 22. Autumn Ball, 1:21:45; 23. Jodi Hanson, 1:22:47; 24. Julie Laker, 1:23:08; 25. Stephanie Bias, 1:23:29.

26. Heather Huff, 1:24:08; 27. Emily Heale, 1:24:19; 28. Priscilla Simmons, 1:25:33; 29. Susan Craig,1:26:10; 30. Stephanie Lambe-Musgrove, 1:26:12; 31. Teresa Doerr, 1:26:34; 32. Sue Parry, 1:26:43; 33. Jaylee Brendel, 1:28:10; 34. Theresa Feighery, 1:28:24; 35. Pamela Keeler, 1:28:26; 36. Amanda Taylor, 1:29:17; 37. Megan Smith, 1:29:35; 38. Misty Peterkin, 1:31:51; 39. Shawna Arend, 1:32:15; 40. Tamara Miller, 1:32:40; 41. Valerie McKenney, 1:33:57; 42. Sondra Stonecipher, 1:33:58; 43. Natalie Foley, 1:34:57; 44. Jessy Hilliard, 1:35:52; 45. Diane Foster, 1:36:06; 46. Sarah Murray, 1:38:03; 47. Jane Eveland, 1:38:11; 48. Mari Rueter, 1:38:20; 49. Charla Lee, 1:39:23; 50. Katierose Cox, 1:39:42.

51. Chelsy Passmore, 1:40:03; 52. Mindy McCulley, 1:41:24; 53. Alexis Kaferstein, 1:43:31; 54. Jacqueline Van Hatten, 1:44:37; 55. Cassie Ostrander, 1:44:38; 56. Shannan Mustacci, 1:46:35; 57. Kendra Ashwell, 1:48:39; 58. Meagan Nelson, 1:49:01; 59. Ashley Hester, 1:49:35; 60. Sherrille Van Horn, 1:50:48; 61. Johna Beech, 1:52:09; 62. Laura Kanyer, 1:52:22; 63. Judy Krier, 1:53:59; 64. Penny Furnish, 1:54:49; 65. Nancy Chambers, 1:58:30; 66. Patricia Richard, 2:04:37.

RELAY

1.Graceful Gazelles,58:07; 2.Tricuspids, 1:07:19; 3.The Supple Leopards, 1:18:54; 4.The Triminators, 1:19:50; 5.River Rush, 1:21:42; 6.Peninsula Allergy & Asthma Center, 1:32:23; 7.Bi Bi Biker, 1:37:58; 8.Team Awesomesauce Amazeballs, 1:40:25; 9.Three Girls Tri’Ing, 2:05:51.

Intermediate

(1,000-yard swim, 20-mile bike, 10-kilometer run)

MEN

1. Jason Lamoreaux, 1:48:49; 2. Cole Abarr, 2:07:08; 3. Kyle Stone, 2:17:05; 4. Ron Larsen, 2:21:02; 5. Craig Hales, 2:27:23; 6. Jonathan Croly, 2:29:27; 7. Matt Spence, 2:31:16; 8. Thomas Star, 2:33:40; 9. David Shafer, 2:40:42; 10. Michael Bliss, 3:16:17.

WOMEN

1. Jenifer Kohout, 2:12:57; 2. Anna Berington, 2:22:49; 3. Katra Wedeking, 2:24:59; 4. Linda Barnack, 2:31:06; 5. Kali Analia Glosser, 2:35:53; 6. Jennifer Gates, 2:46:21; 7. Maddy Ramuglia, 2:48:55; 8. Callie Jones, 2:49:56; 9. Vanessa Hall, 3:15:25; 10. Joan Nelson, 3:18:11; 11. Hailey Nelson, 3:23:33; 12. Audrey Myers, 3:41:10; 13. Gina Lucas, 3:54:30; 14. Alicia Porter, 4:37:33.

Youth

(100-yard swim, 4-kilometer bike, 3-kilometer run)

BOYS

1. Murphy Kimball, 31:19; 2. Koda Poulin, 31:19; 3. Connor Spanos, 33:13; 4. Mikah Wedeking, 38:53; 5. Samuel Anders, 39:43; 6. Jack Laker, 39:50; 7. Chase Laker, 40:18; 8. David Martin, 40:18; 9. Peter Spanos, 40:50; 10. Joshua O’Lena, 41:15; 11. Landen Showalter, 41:52; 12. Shane Onders, 43:15; 13. Brodie Wedeking, 43:26; 14. Daniel Anders, 44:25; 15. Gregory Fallon, 45:38; 16. Leif Jaworski, 50:49; 17. Robert Carson, 53:43 .

GIRLS

1. Leah Fallon, 35:14; 2. Ellen Atchley, 39:12; 3. Kaya Cox, 39:37; 4. Liberty Miller, 39:48; 5. Colette Zidek, 41:22; 6. Grace Morrow, 41:36; 7. Madison McDonald, 47:22; 8. Aeroh Olson, 47:51; 9. Emily Moss, 48:55; 10. Emma Craig, 49:07; 11. Audrey McDonald, 55:42; 12. Ayris Hester, 1:06:56; 13. Breanna Hester,1:07:14.

RELAY

1.D3, 32:43, 2.Come Back Trio, 34:11, 3.Triple Action, 46:34.

Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion Anchorage's Jason Lamoreaux leads a truck up a hill on Echo Lake Road on Sunday in the 20-mile bike portion of the Tri the Kenai. Lamoreaux would keep on trucking to the Intermediate title.

Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion Anchorage’s Jason Lamoreaux leads a truck up a hill on Echo Lake Road on Sunday in the 20-mile bike portion of the Tri the Kenai. Lamoreaux would keep on trucking to the Intermediate title.

Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion Intermediate competitor Ron Larsen climbs the hill on Echo Lake Road after turning off the Sterling Highway on Sunday at Tri the Kenai. Larsen was on the first of two 10-mile laps.

Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion Intermediate competitor Ron Larsen climbs the hill on Echo Lake Road after turning off the Sterling Highway on Sunday at Tri the Kenai. Larsen was on the first of two 10-mile laps.

Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion Sprint competitor Ashley Tonione begins the second lap of the 5-kilometer run at Tsalteshi Trails on Sunday at the Tri the Kenai.

Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion Sprint competitor Ashley Tonione begins the second lap of the 5-kilometer run at Tsalteshi Trails on Sunday at the Tri the Kenai.

Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion Jenny Kimball of Anchorage nears the finish of the 5-kilometer run and the finish line Sunday at Tri the Kenai at Tsalteshi Trails. Kimball won the women's Sprint division.

Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion Jenny Kimball of Anchorage nears the finish of the 5-kilometer run and the finish line Sunday at Tri the Kenai at Tsalteshi Trails. Kimball won the women’s Sprint division.

Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion Mike Crawford of Kenai does the 5-kilometer run portion of Tri the Kenai on Sunday at the Moose loop at Tsalteshi Trails.

Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion Mike Crawford of Kenai does the 5-kilometer run portion of Tri the Kenai on Sunday at the Moose loop at Tsalteshi Trails.

Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion Patty Moran of Soldotna competes in the 500-yard swim during the Sprint competition at Tri the Kenai at Skyview Middle School on Sunday.

Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion Patty Moran of Soldotna competes in the 500-yard swim during the Sprint competition at Tri the Kenai at Skyview Middle School on Sunday.

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