If the Upper Bucks County Chamber of Commerce ever needs promotional material for its various publicity campaigns, it can start with events such as last Sunday’s Steelman Triathlon.
It’s a beautiful setting in and around Lake Nockamixon along with the sight of hundreds of well-conditioned athletes competing in Pennsylvania’s state triathlon championships.
And so it was again this past weekend for the 19th time, with lots of smiles, cheers and personal records for participants in an idyllic setting.
Jennifer Steen, a Richboro resident competing in her first Steelman, was impressed with just about everything at the event.
“The race was extremely well organized with everything from promotion and information on the website to packet pickup and race day logistics,” she said. “The park was amazing and swimming in the lake wasn’t scary at all. The lake was in the mid-70s so it was wetsuit optional but you didn’t need one.”
Steen, who took sixth place in the 40-44 age group and 57th overall in the sprint division, had recently competed in her first triathlon in Mercer County (N.J.) last month. The Steelman was another chance to test her training.
“I would say the race itself was fast and there were so many amazing participants who were highly competitive but also extremely supportive,” she said. “Prior to the start there was a nervous excitement of what the day could possibly hold.”
This race might have convinced Steen to go “all in” by the time she competes in her next triathlon.
“It was pretty cool to see everyone on the course since we looped back around and now I really want to buy a tri bike,” she said.
More than 800 athletes took part in one of the most popular triathlons in the Keystone State.
“I loved seeing kids doing either relays with their friends or families or completing the whole race,” Steen said. “The volunteers were absolutely fantastic along with numerous friends and family on the course shaking cowbells and cheering everyone on. I would highly suggest this race to anyone who is dabbling at crossing the fence to triathlons.”
Bucks County was well represented in both the Olympic and sprint distance events.
Nancy Smith of New Britain and Mark Dean of Doylestown took home individual titles in the Olympic competition.
Smith, 67, finished first in the women’s 65-69 bracket in a time of 2:29.10. Dean, 72, placed first in the men’s 70-99 division with a clocking of 2:54.57.
Other medalists in the female division included Jacqueline Rounsavill of Newtown, 23, who placed second in the 20-24 group with a 2:55.08 and Bethany Malusa, 36, who placed third in the 35-39 set with a 2:48.31.
On the men’s side, Christopher Berland, 34, of Yardley took home the bronze medal in the 30-34 division with time of a 2:15.19 and Joe Quinlan, 65, was a silver medalist in the 65-69 bracket at 3:18.29.
The sprint division had its share of outstanding performances.
Among the male competition, Pierson Stallings’ 1:11.53 was good for eighth overall and first in his 16-19 age group. He’s a 19-year-old from Furlong.
John Molnar, 51, of Morrisville placed second in the 50-54 competition with a time of 1:21.30.
Chalfont’s Sanjeer Singh, 50, was 45th overall and fourth in the 50-54 division with a time of 1:23.00.
Ben Fosbenner, a 31-year-old Warrington resident, clocked in at 1:23.34.
Nick Accardo, 25, of Washington Crossing placed first in the 25-29 competition and finished in a time of 1:26.15
Skip Schanbacker, 76, of Doylestown also came home with a second-place finish in the 70-99 bracket in 2:04.38.
In women’s competition, Megan Lyseck-Hagy, 20, placed first in 20-24 with a time of 1:16.08. She hails from Perkasie.
Another Perkasie resident, Natalie Rust, finished fourth in the 40-44 competition. She clocked in at 1:22.45.
Congratulations to all the competitors.
>Not exactly a day at Disney World
U.S. Olympic Marathon trials have not been without their share of controversies over the years and it looks like 2024’s version will add to the list.
USATF started the latest brouhaha when it recently announced the 2024 USA Trials will start at 12 noon in the balmy city of Orlando, Florida on Feb. 3, 2024.
There might not be too much concern if the races got underway at say 6 a.m. But of course TV had to stick its head into the ugly situation and NBC insisted on the midday start time. You know, when the sun is nearest its highest spot in the sky and temps can get into the 80s.
Meanwhile, the actual Olympic marathon is set for Aug. 10, 2024 in Paris. Guess what the starting time is? 8 a.m.
Both the top three U.S. men and top three U.S. women are eligible to compete in the Summer Games in France if they meet the Olympic qualifying standard.
Renowned U.S. marathon coach Kevin Hanson expressed concern about the late starting time in Orlando.
“There is no amount of TV coverage that is worth the health of our athletes,” he tweeted.
This isn’t the first time USATF has faced criticism. Back at the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials in Los Angeles, which began at 9 a.m., several athletes struggled when the thermometer climbed over 75 degrees. Shalane Flanagan somehow managed to go the distance but collapsed at the finish line after running a third-place time of 2:29.19.
USATF apparently didn’t have enough cold water on the course and felt the heat from critics afterward.
>Saturday, Aug. 19
Ivyland 5K, 8:30 a.m., Ivyland. Contact www.ivyland5k.org