No one came close to matching Will Smith’s swim or pedal strokes, let alone his pace on the run at the Waupaca Area Triathlon Saturday, Aug. 20.
The 33-year-old former professional triathlete in his native New Zealand finished the long course in one hour, 12 minutes, 24 seconds, more than seven minutes ahead of Patrick Chalmers, 36, of Barrington, Ill.
After the half-mile swim, Smith, who now lives in Mount Horeb, already had a one-minute lead over the competition. He then smoked the 20-mile bike course in 43:07, averaging 28 mph.
“I rode hard for the first 15 miles because I knew I might not have it for the run,” Smith said, alluding to a sore hamstring and a knee injury recent surgery hasn’t helped. Nevertheless, he ran the final 5K at an impressive 5:35 per mile pace.
Third out of the water and second fastest on the bike, Chalmers posted the sixth best run time, two minutes behind Smith. Chalmers still placed second among the men with a two-minute margin ahead of Brian Bulkowski, 31, of Green Bay.
Smith said he was surprised to find so many volunteers and spectators along the course.
“I’ve done tons of local races in Wisconsin and this is by far the best organized,” he said.
Among the women in the long course, 46-year-old Jackie Hatherly, of Oakville, Ont., Canada, notched her fourth overall win with a time of 1:29:21. That put her just 22 seconds ahead of Liv Williamsen, 33, of Chanhassen, Minn. Betsy Barrett, 45, of Stevens Point finished third in 1:34:23.
Hatherly, who previously won the triathlon in 2007, 2008 and 2010, stays with family in Waupaca who, a week earlier, organized the second annual John Hatherly Mid Century Ride Waupaca bike tour. That event has already raised thousands of dollars for Waupaca High School scholarships, as has the triathlon over its 11-year history.
Kelly Carlson, another master-class triathlete, was the first Waupaca woman to finish the long course and second among the 40- to 44-year-olds. The overall female winner of the Mighty Wolf Triathlon short course in Winneconne last June said she shaved six minutes from her finishing time in the Waupaca triathlon last year. She said her daughters – Tayler, 8, and Peyton, 4 – also did well in the kids’ triathlon Friday, Aug. 19.
The Carlsons were among 20 youngsters and 18 parents who took part in the triathlon as current or former members of the Thunder Power Swim Team in Iola. Kelly Carlson is assistant coach to Richard Wright.
“This event is a lot of fun for them,” Wright said of his swimmers. “We swam here and rode the course in training for it.”
Wright chalked up his second-place standing in the 65-69 age group to having his knees replaced two years ago and Saturday’s cool weather. “How do you shave time off?” he asked. “Have a really nice day.”
Training in Shadow Lake seemed to also help 15-year-old Dakotah Revai swim 10 minutes faster than last year and earn first place in his age group for the long course. David Revai joked that what might have also motivated his son, a Waupaca High School sophomore, was him “following behind with an oar.”
In the short course – which consisted of a quarter-mile swim, 12.5-mile bike ride and 2-mile run – Travis Seeger, 31, of Byron, Minn., took top overall honors with a time of 54:57. Even though he was fourth fastest in the swim and run, he secured first place overall with a bike ride nearly two minutes faster than his rivals.
About 1:30 behind Seeger came Chad McCartney, 31, of New London. Despite running an average of 4:46 per mile in the final leg of the event, Joel Karls, 40, of Menasha came in third in 58:24.
Rachel Schroeder, 40, of Green Bay won the women’s short course in 1:04:38. Kim Shingledecker, 33, of New Berlin and Sarah Thomas, 35, of Sun Prairie made the podium in second and third, respectively.
The top local finishers of the short course were Paul Charapata of Waupaca (13th male overall), Dominic Frandrup of Waupaca (16th), Scott Tessen of Waupaca (24th), Sara Wanty of Waupaca (sixth woman overall), Mary Feldt of Waupaca (13th female) and Jodi Schmoldt of Iola (26th female).
The long course top finishers from the area were Gearoid Sexton of Waupaca (35th male), Steve Saunders of Waupaca (51st), Barry Paulson of Fremont (78th), Kelly Carlson of Waupaca (22nd female), Meagan Waller of Waupaca (42nd female) and Brandan Duchateau of Scandinavia (44th female).
Go to www.mtecresults.com for complete results, including the relay competition.