The Snippit Loppet Duathlon was held Sunday at Tsalteshi Trails on the date traditionally reserved for the Tri-The-Kenai Triathlon, which did not happen this year due to road construction on Kalifornsky Beach Road.
Duathlons have a run-bike-run format, while Tri-The-Kenai uses the pool at Skyview Middle School before a bike and a run.
But that doesn’t mean the Sunday duathlon doesn’t have a water portion.
What does it feel like to run three kilometers at hilly Tsalteshi, ride a bike up and down hills and through tricky singletrack for 10 miles, then dismount the bike only to run five more kilometers, including the vaunted Kill Bill hill?
“It’s like you are running in water,” said Brian Beeson, the men’s winner.
Beeson took advantage of the bike leg in winning the race. After the first run, he left the transition zone three seconds behind Karl Danielson. But by the time Beeson completed the bike and transitioned to the water run, he had a lead of 8 minutes, 24 seconds, on Danielson, who got off course on the bike leg.
The time on the bike also spurred Amber Bethe’s victory in the women’s race. Bethe actually left the transition zone after the first run nine seconds behind Megan Anderson, racing under the name Bandit Damnit.
But Bethe crushed the bike leg, going from fourth overall to second, about 2:27 ahead of Nathan Kincaid in third place and more than 10 minutes ahead of Anderson.
While Beeson said the run did not serve as a good warmup for the bike, Bethe disagreed.
“I felt great on the bike,” she said. “It was perfect to have the run to warm up.”
Official times were not kept on each leg, but Bethe’s bike leg was at 57:00 while Beeson was at 58:17 and Kincaid was at 58:37.
Mike Crawford, who was on the winning relay team with Matt Adams, had the fastest bike leg at 50:55.
With the monster lead after the bike leg, Bethe even had the answer to making Kill Bill hurt less, while still finishing second overall.
“I just kind of walked up it really quickly,” she said.
Beeson won at 1:23:21, while Bethe was at 1:41:09 and Danielson came back on the 5K run to finish third overall at 1:46:04 to the 1:47:05 of Kincaid. Anderson was second among women at 1:56:47.
Although Adams did not do the bike leg, he can’t be accused of slacking this weekend. Saturday, he won the Run for the River 10-mile race in 55 minutes, 28 seconds. Then he ran Sunday’s opening 3K in 11:30 before limbering up again for a 20:53 in the final 5K. The challenge of Tsalteshi and the weekend showed in that final run, because Adams said a 19:30 5K on flat pavement is normally an easy run for him.
“Mike needed a runner and I’m not good at saying no,” Adams said. “I figured it would be good training and a challenge.”
Adams also had to work this weekend at the Kenai River Festival, and spent Saturday night sleeping on the ground at a campground. He said he was probably going to take Monday off from work. Not to rest, of course, but to climb a mountain in Seward or Cooper Landing.
“The No. 1 goal is not to get injured,” Adams said. “We’ll see how I feel when I wake up tomorrow.”
The proceeds from the race went to the Peninsula Spay/Neuter Fund, which encourages and assists owners in spaying or neutering their pets in order to avoid animal euthanasias.
Hence the name Snippit Loppet.
“I kind of had to do it for the name alone,” Bethe said.
Snippit Loppet Duathlon
Sunday at Tsalteshi Trails
3K run, 10K bike, 5K run
1. Matt Adams/Mike Crawford, 1 hour, 23 minutes, 21 seconds (1st relay); 2. Brian Beeson, 1:33:48 (1st men’s); 3. Amber Bethe, 1:41:09 (1st women’s); 4. Karl Danielson, 1:46:04; 5. Nathan Kincaid, 1:47:05; 6. Tom Kobylarz, 1:51:59; 7. Kevin Lauver, 1:54:46; 8. Bandit Damnit, 1:56:47; 9. Lee Frey, 2:07:36; 10. Maggie Donnelly, 2:08:06; 11. Morgan Aldridge, 2:08:53; 12. Landen Showalter, 2:23:42; 13. Jen Showalter, 2:23:55; 14. Cassie Collins, 2:24:55; 15. Jonathan Hartford, 2:29:41; 16. Elena Hartford, 2:32:46 (1 bike lap due to a mechanical).