Paddle option added to this year’s events
By Greg Seubert
There was no fanfare as he crossed the finish line of this year’s Waupaca Area Triathlon in South Park.
And why should there be? Mark Rosicky has been there and done that.
He is one of a handful of triathletes that have competed in each Waupaca Area Triathlon since the annual event began in 2001. Rosicky was there again Aug. 19 for the 17th time and turned in a time of 2:01.09.
That placed him 162nd out of 190 men in the long course: a half-mile swim in Shadow Lake, a 20.1-mile bike ride south of Waupaca and a 3.1-mile run on Waupaca city streets.
Long-course competitors this year ranged in age from 14 to 74 for males and 13 to 76 for females.
“It’s probably harder,” Rosicky said a few minutes after completing the course. “I have to train harder in order to get the same time.”
Not everyone that competes signs up for the long course.
This year’s short course included a 400-meter swim, 12.5-mile bike ride and 2-mile run and a new option added this year consisted of a 0.68-mile paddle, 12.5-mile bike ride and 2-mile run.
Some opted to join a male, female or co-ed relay team, while the Waupaca Kids Triathlon, held Aug. 18, is set up for ages 4-10.
All results can be found at www.waupacaareatriathlon.com.
An injury almost kept Rosicky out of this year’s event.
“That kind of derailed my training a lot,” he said. “My doctor gave me the go-ahead to resume my normal activities so I said, ‘OK, I’ll give it a shot.’”
An avid runner, Rosicky admitted he starts training for the triathlon later than he should.
“I don’t start swimming and biking until June,” he said. “Running’s kind of year-round for me, whereas the biking and swimming are mainly for this.”
Rosicky, who works at the Waupaca Foundry, spends much of the year as a referee and umpire at local high school football, basketball and baseball games.
“I had done some triathlons in the late 1980s, early 1990s,” he said. “Then, there was one right in the backyard. I said, ‘I might as well do it, it’s right in Waupaca, I live right here.’”
That local connection keeps Rosicky coming back each year.
“I know a lot of the people that volunteer and put it on, plus it’s in Waupaca,” he said.
Waupaca’s triathlon has changed over the years, according to Rosicky.
“It’s grown and now it’s kind of scaling back a bit,” he said. “After the first few, there was a waiting list to get in. It kind of peaked four or five years ago.”
Hundreds of supporters showed up at 7 a.m. on the South Park beach as the first wave of swimmers dove into Shadow Lake. Triathletes also found support along the running route or at the finish line in South park.
“It’s kind of a relief, just to get it done and see the finish line,” Rosicky said. “All of your hard work kind of pays off.”