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Cooper, Miller are tops at 2012 Los Alamos Triathlon

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Multi-sport: Elite division top spots hotly contested

By Mike Cote

Liz Miller got off to a solid start at Saturday’s Los Alamos Triathlon and kept right on going.

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Miller had the unenviable task of trying to keep up with one of Los Alamos’ top multi-sport athletes, Amy Regan, at the head of the race, but made up an 18-second gap in the swim portion and pulled away during the run to take the overall women’s championship.

The 2012 Los Alamos Triathlon was Saturday. The event, which is hosted by Los Alamos County’s recreation department, was held in and around the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center.

But Miller, who got out of the pool about a 17-second lead over Regan coming out of the pool, but was able to pull away toward the end of the 5K leg to pick up the victory.

“Overall, it was a really great race,” said Miller, who finished the course – which included a 20K bike, 400 meter swim and 5K run – in 1 hour, 9 minutes, 30 seconds, just 35 seconds better than Regan, the event’s defending women’s champ.

On the men’s side, local triathlete Chip Cooper came back from a 46-second deficit against Jimmy Archer in the run portion. Cooper finished strong the final quarter-mile with the two men battling it out to take a 38-second victory against Archer.

Cooper finished in 59 minutes, 47 seconds, the only competitor Saturday to break the 1-hour mark.
Archer, who was raised in Los Alamos but now resides in Boulder, Colo., is a past triathlon champion and is a regular Ironman and half-Ironman competitor.

This year has been a tough one for Archer, however. In January, he was involved in a car accident and injured his back, which slowed his training down. His competitive season has been shortened and the Los Alamos Triathlon was the first competition he’s seen since mid-June.

Clay Moseley, local elite athlete and the first one out on the bike course, was forced out of the race early. Moseley, who was once part of the U.S. national cycling team and who would’ve likely been a factor in the elite division competition Saturday, had a flat tire near S-Site and was relegated to cheerleader for the balance of the event.

Archer said after the race he though that had Moseley not gotten knocked out early it would’ve made a close finish that much more exciting.

Archer, who started 30 seconds ahead of Cooper – the elite division this year went out individually at 30-second intervals to start the race – made several attempts to distance himself, but couldn’t seem to shake him. At the halfway point of the run, Archer said he turned around and was just steps ahead of Cooper.

“It’s kind of interesting because you don’t know where everyone started at the interval,” Archer said.
This year, 146 individual competitors and 23 teams took part in the race, the biggest multi-sport event in Los Alamos County.

Among those competing were the coed team Maureen’s Dream, which included one of the founders of the Los Alamos Triathlon, Bill Hudson. Hudson, a former swim coach, did the swimming portion of the race and finished it 19:42.

This was the 38th year of the triathlon, making it one of the oldest multi-sports events in the country.