Race Coverage

Apple Awesome!...

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APPLE DUATHLON - It wasn't just warm. It was hot. And there wasn't a cloud in sight. Many, if not most, of the Apple participants would shift from racing mode to survival mode by the time they reached T2, if not earlier.

Some, however, were able to stay in race mode the whole way, most notably JESSON BAUMGARTNER, the 36-year-old physician from Rochester by way of Cedar City, Utah, and TODD BUCKINGHAM, 29, from Big Rapids, Michigan.

Baumgartner managed to stay aggressive thoughout, just as he had at Falls Du, where he decimated the men's course record. The former Southern Utah State University runner led the deep men's field through the opening 5K in 15:34. Then he crushed the 33K bike, landing him in T2 thirty-nine ticks in front of 2017 champ WADE CRUSER, who knew he was racing for 2nd place, and even that it wasn't going to be easy. In pursuit was Buckingham, a two-time USAT National Champion, who possesses great running creds.

Down by 46 ticks when he left transition, TB had to a choice to make. He could settle into a semi-comfortable pace and hold off former Apple champ PATRICK PARISH for the bronze medal position. Or he  could charge on at full effort and hope that Cruser would come back to him.

If Cruser succumbed to the heat, and Buckingham did not, Todd could come out on top in this battle...

 

And that's what happened. Baumgartner won in a circumstantially amazing 1:21:16, the third fastest amateur time in the 15-year history of this course; Buckingham finished next in 1:22:13. Cruser needed another forty-four seconds to officialize his 3rd.

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Also very notable in the men's competition was TED TREISE's 5th place finish. Not only did his 1:26:09 better his 2017 7th-place effort here by a full minute, the list of the elite men he managed to outperform read like a Who's Who.

 

SUZIE FOX's women's win here, her 3rd, was a foregone conclusion. Her chief rival was to have been 2015 Apple winner ELAINE NELSON, who was a no-show for a very good, though heartbreaking, reason. Here's what she had to say on Facebook on the eve of the race:

"Well, it looks like I won't be racing the Apple Duathlon tomorrow..... we had a pretty impressive fire this morning that completely obliterated the garage, the cars, van, canoes, bikes, tools, etc. Thankfully the fire didn't actually go in the house, but there is significant soot and smoke damage. The house is currently not livable. We are thankful that all family members (human, furred, and feathered) all are doing fine." 

Suzie could have phoned this one in, but she's not that kind of athlete. That she was able to break 1:40 on this tough day, and without a hefty push from competitors, was impressive. The victory was the 42nd of her multisport career.

Also impressive was ANDREA MYER''s 2nd-place finish, despite a painful foot issue, and three-time Chain of Lakes champ AMY WOOLSEY, 52, who would enhanced her resume with a 3rd-place overall women's finish.

Despite the austere conditions, one age group record was rewritten. PAM STEVENS managed to lower the 65-69AGR by 10:34! Pammy, who with husband DARYL, founded the Apple and directed it for two-and-a-half decades, now owns three divsional marks (55-59W, 60-64W,65-69W) to go along with her two outright women's victories in the 90s.

This year's Apple, its 36th edition, featured an exciting new Sprint event (5K  run - 10.25 mile bike - dash to finish line). Leading the way for the thirty-seven finishers were KURT DEVINE, 56, of Little Falls (48:58) and JENNIFER OLSEN, 41, of Rice (55:22).

As always, the Apple was lovingly and flawlessly produced.  RESULTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

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