Sprint Triathlon Tests Strength, Speed, Endurance Of Athletes

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The Payson Sprint Triathlon debuted in 2006 as an opportunity for local athletes to put their endurance, speed and strength to the test.

Among those participating was 41-year-old mother of two Carolyn Fruth.

That year she was second in her age group and in 2007 she was the third overall female finisher.

Those two highly successful efforts have prompted her to test the triathlon for a third consecutive time when it is held June 14.

"It's a lot of fun, it's a challenge and it gives me the opportunity to cross train," Fruth said.

A longtime long-distance runner, Fruth enjoys the cycling and swimming portions of the race because both allow her to condition and train without suffering the negative effects of ground pounding that go along with everyday running.

"It's a chance to get off my feet," she said.

While Fruth obviously does well in all three triathlon events, the running remains her strongest competition.

"Everyone who enters has his or her best sport," she said. "For some, it's cycling and for others it's swimming. For me, it's the run."

Fruth calls the transition from the cycling portion to running the most difficult part of the race.

"Getting off the bike and getting adjusted to immediately running is tough," she said.

While the Payson Triathlon is different from the grueling long-distance challenge of the world-famous Hawaii Ironman Triathlon, Fruth believes the sprint event is a unique competition.

"It's different because it's so fast, it's just what it says -- a sprint," she said. "People don't understand you are going as fast as you can all the time."

Other Payson runners who have done well in past triathlons include Cynthia Poole, Lana Cluff, Karen Smith and former Longhorn long-distance track star Carlan Pontious.

Triathlon on deck for June 14

The Third Annual Payson Sprint Triathlon continues to be sponsored by the parks and recreation department.

The adult (15 years and older) events consist of a 500-yard swim followed up by the 15-mile bike ride and the 5K run.

The youth (7-14 years) events will include a 200-yard swim, 3-mile bike ride and a 1.5-mile run.

Former P&R Director Bill Schwind, who helped found Payson's first triathlon, called the distances chosen for the younger division, "challenging but not too tough."

Participants in both adult and youth divisions can enter as an individual or a three-person team with each competing in a single event.

The adult registration fee is $45 per individual or $75 for a team.

Youth fees are $15 per individual and $30 for a team.

The registration deadline is May 30. After that day, a $10 late fee will be charged. Walk-up registrations will not be accepted.

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