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Triatomics gearing up for the season

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By Mike Cote

The warming weather is a sure sign the Los Alamos Triatomics are getting into full swing for the year and one of the group’s signature events is right around the corner.
The Triatomics are a local multi-sport and fitness group which is committed to giving its members opportunities to train for competitive multi-sport events.
During the spring is when things usually get going for the group. Already this spring, it has hosted a swimming clinic and a pair of training “bricks” for the upcoming Atomic Man Duathlon.
“We do whatever interests people,” said the Triatomics’ Bill Dunn. “We polled people to find out what they wanted to do. We have a lot of serious competitors, then we have others like me that, if I finish in the top half of my age group, that’s pretty good for me.”
The Triatomics boast about 60 active members who take part in the many events the group holds throughout the year.
The Atomic Man, which is slated for April 29, is a run-bike-run event that starts in White Rock and heads toward Bandelier National Monument and back on NM 4.
Despite the construction on NM 4, the race will feature its normal course – little of the course goes through construction sites.
The Atomic Man features two distances, the “Little Boy” race, which consists of a 4-kilometer run, 15-kilometer bike and another 4-kilometer run, and the “Fat Man,” which features a 10K run, 40K bike and 5K run.
Cash prizes are awarded to the top male and female competitor in the Fat Man division.
Richard Sena won the Fat Man race last year on a course altered due to poor weather conditions, in a time of 1 hour, 48 minutes, 38 seconds. Elizabeth Sponagle was the women’s winner in 2:07:23, a little more than a minute better than local resident Amy Reagan, one of the top multi-sport athletes in northern New Mexico.
Michelle Born (1:03:38) and Scott Valdez (57:02) were the Little Boy top finishers.
Online registration for the 2012 event is still open at active.com.
Dunn said registration for this year’s event started off slow, down about 20 percent from previous years.
For the summer, the Triatomics will host their Splash ‘N’ Dash series of swimming and running in and around the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center. The Splash ‘N’ Dash events – designed as training for the August Los Alamos Triathlon – are popular events that are open to the public.
The Splash ‘N’ Dash series will resume in June.
The Triatomics have already started helping athletes prep for the event by holding a swimming clinic earlier this month. At the clinic, athletes’ swim strokes were videoed and evaluated by swim experts to help the participants identify their weaknesses.
Dunn said he hopes the multi-sport community in the area continues to flourish in 2012.
“Everybody’s talking about the races, about the event they’re going to do,” he said. “Some of us are doing the Jemez Mountain Trail Runs in May...everyone’s talking and getting excited.”

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