A field of 80 weekend warriors showed up Saturday, June 14, at Rumsey Park to test their speed, strength and endurance in one of the most rapidly growing sports in America.
The sprint triathlon, which was hosted by the Payson Parks and Recreation Department, included a 500-yard swim, 15-mile bike race and a 3.2-mile run.
"For me, it was the run that was the toughest, because it took place in the heat of the day," said Carolyn Fruth who was 28th overall and third in her age division (40-49 years).
Event champion Adam Folts turned in the triathlon's top performance by polishing off the three events in 1:04:57. His time was just over one second faster that runner-up Geoffrey Cleveland.
Folts was clocked in 7:12 in the swim, 38:08 on the bike, and 19:37 in the run.
His time in the swim was about average but his bike clocking was the fastest of the day and his run time was second quickest.
Also in the triathlon were a pair of former Payson High School track and cross country standouts.
Carlos Lopez, who now runs for Scottsdale Community College, was ninth overall and ex-PHS teammate Carlan Pontious took 20th.
Also, former Payson High School football, wrestling and track star Eric Anderson, now a local dentist, turned back the clock by finishing 22nd overall in 1:25.00.
In the 30-39 years division, he was seventh.
Those in the younger age divisions (11-14 years and 10-and-under) swam 200 yards, biked three miles and ran 1.5 miles.
The field that turned out to compete was considerably larger than the 40 who entered the inaugural Payson triathlon held in 2006.
Triathlons, which originated in Hawaii but now take place all over the world, include a 2.4-mile swim, 110-mile bike ride and a full 26.1-marathon.
Shorter "sprinting" triathlons, like the ones held in Payson, are among the most popular sporting events in the country. Although distance can vary from event to event, they typically cover about a quarter of the distances of the longer marathons.
Although the prefix "tri" means three, triathlons actually consist of five events, the swim, transition from swim wear to bike gear (T-1), the cycling, transition from cycling to running (T-2) and the run.