A field of 135 athletes from towns and cities around the state, as well as Vail, Colo., New Orleans, La. and the Detroit, Mich. suburb of Livona, turned out June 11 for the Town of Payson Sprint Triathlon.
In the men’s competition, Adam Folts won his second Payson triathlon championship finishing first in 1:02:28
In 2008, Folts turned in the triathlon’s top performance by polishing off the three events in 1:04:57.
His time on Saturday was almost eight minutes faster than runner-up Richmand Getzen who finished in 1:10.36.
In the women’s competition, Shawna Folts, Adam’s wife, ran, swam and biked her way to a gold medal in 1:17.49.
Shawna’s stiffest competition came from silver medalist Kristi Gauther who was clocked in 1:19.45.
Adam Folts’ best performance was in the run with a triathlon best time of 19:21.
Shawna Folts did not excel in any particular event, but was a steady performer in all three.
In the men’s competition, Payson High School track team member Ezra White showed well, finishing 14th in 1:22.10.
White could have finished higher had he not struggled in the bike portion turning in a time of 50:24.
Among the older set, Sandra Doering took first in the 60-69 years age group in 2:29.24.
In the men’s 60-69 division, Clayton Nutter finished in 1:36.50 and was first.
A field of five entered the team division that was won by Trix Gear in 1:08.29.
Tri to Catch Us was second in 1:23.50.
Fifth annual event
The Payson Sprint Triathlon debuted in 2006 as an opportunity for local athletes and visitors to put their endurance, speed and strength to the test.
The triathlon debuted under the direction of former Parks and Recreation Director Bill Schwind.
Probably the most demanding of the five triathlons that have been held took place in 2008 when soaring summer temperatures took a toll on the 80 who entered
The format of the triathlon includes a 15-mile bike race, 5K run and a 500-yard swim. The swim was held in Taylor Pool and the run was through residential areas on a mostly flat course. It ended at the south end of Rumsey Park. The two-loop bike course contained two challenging hills — one at Airport Hill and the other on Vista Road.
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 in Payson, are among the fastest-growing and most popular sporting events in the country. They typically cover about a quarter of the distances of the longer events. 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.
There are now several books, Web sites and magazines devoted to helping novice athletes prepare and practice for the three portions of the race as well as the transitions.
The simplest training schedule and one recommended by many seasoned athletes is to alternate training days — run, bike, swim, run, bike, swim and rest on the seventh day.