LA Triathlon gets going on Saturday

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Multi-sport: Elite athletes will go out in time-trial fashion this year

By The Staff

One of the most popular local sporting events of the year is once again on tap.
The 38th Los Alamos Triathlon is scheduled for Saturday. The multi-sport event consists of a 20K bike leg, followed by a 400-meter swim, followed by a 5K run.
The competition, which is hosted by Los Alamos County’s Recreation department, starts at 7 a.m.
This year, the competitors in the elite category will actually go out singularly, in time-trial format, with 20 seconds passing in between each individual competitor — in past years, the elite athletes have gone out in the opening wave along with other competitors.
The Los Alamos Triathlon is part of the Southwest Challenge Series. Despite being demoted to an “aquathlon” two years ago — the bike leg was eliminated in 2010 because of road work being done on Diamond Drive — the triathlon is believed to be the oldest multi-sport event in the United States.
Nearly 200 athletes competed in the 2011 triathlon.
Viktor Zyemtsev, a professional multi-sport athlete who often trains in Los Alamos during the summer, was the men’s top overall finisher last year. Zyemtsev, who is nicknamed “The Metronome” because of his precise pacing, won the “aquathlon” in 2010 and was the only man or woman in the competition to finish in under one hour, crossing the finish line in 56 minutes, 33 seconds. Jeff Johnson of Los Alamos was the runner-up.
The women’s overall champion was Los Alamos’ Amy Regan. Regan, who is among the top multi-sport athletes in New Mexico, posted a time of 1:09:06, nearly a minute and a half better than Santa Fe’s Mary Uhl, who is also among the top multi-sport competitors in the state.
Also, on Sunday, the county will host the 19th annual Los Alamos Kids Triathlon. That is a non-continuous event for athletes aged 3-10. It will start at 1 p.m. Sunday.
To accommodate Saturday’s race, Los Alamos County will close Canyon Road from 15th St. to Diamond Drive from 5:30-11:30 a.m. It will also close Canyon Road at 15th St. for Sunday’s Kids Triathlon.