4th annual Fulton triathlon draws big numbers despite heat

Overall 2012 Fulton Sprint Triathlon winners Clint Smith and Karen Jones.

Overall 2012 Fulton Sprint Triathlon winners Clint Smith and Karen Jones.

Despite the temperature approaching the triple digits early in the day, 41 racers turned out to participate in this year’s Fulton Sprint Triathlon. The annual multi-sport race put triathletes to the test in a swimming, biking and foot race competition. Ultimately, 2011 winner Clint Smith and 2011 runner-up Karen Jones were crowned this year’s overall men and women’s winners.

Race coordinator Brad Hegemann was pleased with this year’s turnout, which fell short of last year’s participation attendance by only one racer.

“Timing really worked here,” he said. “(Last month) we had such a good crowd at the Street Fair, where normally we can find some takers. We had so many local runners there and that’s really who we’re aiming for as far as customers for an event. We wanted folks who never tried it to encourage local family and friends to get involved in events like this.”

John and Peg Schlacks were perfect examples of that this year. The couple, both in their 60s, learned about the triathlon following the Street Fair 5K, in which they participated. Both Schlacks ranked first in their age group of the triathlon.

“A lot of folks were walking up at the awards, saying ‘oh wow, I can’t believe I got a medal my first time out,’” said Hegemann. “We wanted a triathlon that was manageable for the mortal human being, that didn’t require you to be a pro triathlete. I think it was a good experience for them.”

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