Perfect weather greeted SDTA-sanctioned Wall Lake Triathlon competitors this past Saturday with warm but not scorching temperatures, a nearly windless day, and a glassy lake. It also saw the crowning of a new Wall Lake male champ and the re-emergence of last year’s female champ.
Kip Kinsley, an SDSU track star, came in and took the race by storm, posting a time over four minutes faster than second place local star Michael Martin. Both Martin and Kinsley broke an hour. And though four minutes separated the first two finishers, only around two minutes separated the competitors in the next eight slots. Can you say sprint to the finish? The seconds that separated these competitors prove the importance of dialing in on every little detail in our awesome SD tris. Up-and-comer Ethan Marquardt took third, youngster Ike Mendel fourth, and veteran Kevin Mitchell fifth.
Sioux Falls youth sensation Katie Patrick took the women’s race by storm once again with a solid win in the women’s field. Patrick posted the fastest swim time but found some competition in the bike and run. Kimber Pierzchalski and Teresa Van Hyfte boosted their SDTA points by coming in second and third. Sydney Huber and Amy Bates rounded out the top five.
This race, like so many triathlons, saw some pretty neat scenes–things like a unified group of individuals from an Iowa club that boosted the enrollment or the sisters from Iowa who completed their first triathlon after training together and setting a goal or the team of athletes who can now call Wall Lake their first triathlon.
Wall Lake also saw the return of an important group of young triathletes: those representing The L3Foundation–an organization of kids helping kids fight cancer. L3 athletes participated in the 2014 tri, but this year they brought an even stronger presence and something worth taking note of. This organization began when an extraordinary young man, Landon Ahrendt, was diagnosed with cancer. Landon’s battle lasted 21 months until he succumbed to the disease last spring. As a result of Landon’s battle and his desire to help other kids battle cancer, his parents Scott and Jamie formed The L3 Foundation, an organization focused on helping other childhood cancer victims and their parents as well as support research to find a cure for childhood cancer. Scott and Jamie both raced at Wall Lake and as a result are helping spread the word about a foundation with a great cause.
Wall Lake epitomized why we love triathlon: talented triathletes who swim, bike, and run at blazing speeds; new triathletes who tri for the first time and discover a healthy lifestyle as a result; and causes worth the time to stop, listen, and learn.