Triathletes Make the Podium at the Oro Valley Sprint Triathlon

Rodger Bivens, Karin Bivens, Diane Wagner, Len Kershaw (photo by Robin Evans-Kremer)

Karin Bivens

On March 18 four SaddleBrooke triathletes (Diane Wagner, Len Kershaw, and Rodger and Karin Bivens) competed in the Oro Valley Sprint Triathlon. The sprint triathlon consisted of a 350-meter swim in the Olympic 50-meter pool at the Oro Valley Aquatic Center, followed by biking two loops of a 7.2-mile course, followed by a 5K run.

It was dark and in the 40s when participants arrived with all their gear to swim, bike, and run. First stop was to pick up a timing chip, next was to rack your bike and set up your “transition” area with your bike shoes, helmet, running shoes, race bib, running cap, nutrition, and drinks. Then you were body-marked with your race number on your arms and your age on your calf (for all to see!).

The transition area closed at 6:45 a.m., and everyone headed to the pool to line up in their swimwear (swimsuit or tri outfit), waiting to enter the water in numerical order. It was a gorgeous setting as the sun was rising over the Catalina Mountains, but it was cold standing on the pool deck waiting for your turn! Swimmers were sent into the pool every 10 seconds! Swimmers would swim down the 50-meter lane, go under the lane line into the next lane, swim to the other end, and repeat for seven lanes. From the swim exit, you would head to transition, put on your helmet, bike shoes, jacket, perhaps (I know I did), and head out on the bike course (east on Calle Concordia, right onto La Canada, right onto Lambert Lane, right onto Pusch View, right onto Oracle, back to Calle Concordia, and repeat). Nothing like biking when you’re still wet and it’s cold out! The Oro Valley Police did an outstanding job of directing traffic. After the bike, you put on running shoes, cap, race number, and headed out on the run course (two loops on a local road and around the park and then to the finish!).

Volunteers placed a finisher’s medal around your neck, and you had some refreshments, congratulated each other, and awaited results. Awards were presented to the top three men and women in each five-year age group. All four SaddleBrooke triathletes made the podium! For Women 75-79: Karin Bivens, first; Diane Wagner, third. For Men 80-84: Len Kershaw, first; Rodger Bivens, second. All four are swimmers with the SaddleBrooke Swim Club. In addition, SaddleBrooke Swim Club member Margaret Valair volunteered at this event.

On Your Left Fitness did an amazing job of organizing this terrific event for the seventh year! Many thanks to all the volunteers, the Oro Valley Police Department, the Oro Valley Aquatic Center, sponsors, and cheering friends and family who supported this event and helped make it successful!