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Lander sprint triathlon coming Aug. 17; top men already in field

Aug 7, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor

Ann Lehmkuhler is in the last stages of planning for the Lander Sprint Triathlon set for Saturday, Aug. 17.

The Lander Triathlon Club president is receiving help from the club and the community to put on the triathlon. The event consists of a 750-meter swim, a 12.4-mile bike ride and a 3.1-mile run. The triathlon begins at 7 a.m. at the Lander City Pool.

"We are very excited to have the Lander Sprint Triathlon again this year," Lehmkuhler said. "This year, it has truly been a team effort putting it together. We have some very active Lander Triathlon Club members who have put in a lot of work since January in order to make this race great for its third year."

Participants can sign up at active.com or pick up a registration form at several locations in Riverton or Lander, including the gyms and bike shops.

Registration is $55 for individuals and $135 for relays.

"We have athletes who come from many different backgrounds," Lehmkuhler said. "Some were high school swimmers who recently have begun running and biking. Some are runners or cyclists who have recently learned to swim."

Advance registration is required. No race-day registrations will be accepted. The triathlon has a seeded swim, so the latest athletes can register is Thursday, Aug. 15, at noon.

"That is the beauty of a triathlon," Lehmkuhler said. "You don't have to be the best at any one to win the entire race. You need to be good at all three."

The race will finish at the pool.

"In the past, the race has finished at Lander City Park," Lehmkuhler said.

A picnic and celebration follows, starting at 11 a.m. at Lander City Park.

Competition

On the men's side, Sam Hartpence of Lander is one of the early favorites to capture the overall title in his hometown. Hartpence already has won the Casper and the Riverton triathlon titles this summer.

Brent Phinney placed second in Riverton, only 40 seconds behind Hartpence. Phinney has registered for the Lander triathlon.

"With the swim portion being longer than in Riverton, Brent may be able to pick up some time on Sam, as he is a stronger swimmer," Lehmkuhler said. "On the other hand, the bike course being hilly will play to Sam's strengths."

Lehmkuhler believes Harrison Simmons of Gillette High School will be near the top of the men's standings.

"He has done well in several of the races in Wyoming," Lehmkuhler said.

Simmons won the Cody triathlon and placed third in Riverton.

"He is also a strong swimmer," Lehmkuhler said.

Lehmkuhler said the women's race should be wide open.

Lehmkuhler, Casey Dean and Pearson Smith all finished in the top three last year in Lander, but they will be sitting this triathlon out. "Casey and I will be volunteering," Lehmkuhler said.

Smith recently moved to Steamboat, Colo.

"There hasn't been a standout woman in the Wyoming Multisport series this season," Lehmkuhler said.

The Sibley Lake Triathlon in Sheridan is Aug. 24 to end the Wyoming Multisport Series, which consists of different triathlons in the state.

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