Local triathletes flock to Echo Triathlon | ParkRecord.com

Local triathletes flock to Echo Triathlon

Photo courtesy of Sarah Dunlap
Sarah Dunlap, left, the co-founder of the Wasatch Triathlon Club, stands with Heather Casey, a coach with Lifetime Fitness, at the Echo Triathlon on Saturday morning.

Sometimes, athletes need an extra boost of energy, something to keep them going when they’re nearing exhaustion.

For triathletes at Saturday’s Echo Triathlon, that extra motivation came from the other competitors. More than 450 of the area’s triathletes of all ages and ability levels converged on the Echo Reservoir in Coalville for the annual event.

Competitors swam in the reservoir for the first leg, then hopped on their bicycles for an out-and-back road ride and finished up with an out-and-back run along the Rail Trail.

It was the home race for the Wasatch Triathlon Club, which had about 20 members participate. Anna Nemeckay, a co-founder of the club, said she enjoyed seeing friendly faces out on the trails.

“I love the bike course,” she said. “It’s a slight downhill on the way back. And, on the out-and-back course, you can see everyone you’re competing against. There’s a lot of great energy. You get a lot of energy from seeing the other athletes on the course.”

This year, there was even more energy on the trails, Nemeckay said, with more triathletes making the trip to Coalville to compete.

“It was actually bigger than they normally have it,” she said. “They had more people competing. It’s really taking off and they were almost sold out. It’s a regional championship as well, so they get a lot of decent competition from all around the area.”

Nemeckay said she’s not surprised the Echo Triathlon has grown in recent years, as event organizers continue to improve the race experience.

“It’s one of my favorite races — the course is beautiful and the water is warm,” she said. “The running course is on the Rail Trail, which is great, and they’ve been taking better care of the bike course.”

The race is hosted by TriUtah, an organization that puts on several triathlons across the state each year. Nemeckay said she enjoys working with TriUtah and competing in their events.

“I’ve done everything from sprint triathlons to Ironman races,” she said. “TriUtah does an amazing job with their volunteers and staff. I’ve volunteered at these races and it takes an enormous amount of energy to make these races happen each year. They do a great job year-in and year-out.”

Though a lingering knee injury slowed Nemeckay down on the running portion of the race, she said she was happy with her performance otherwise.

“I did really well on the swim,” she said. “On the bike, I was 14th overall and I think second in my age group. I missed [a] third-place [finish] by two seconds.”

Nemeckay, who competed in the Olympic distance race (which is longer than the Sprint distance), finished with an overall time of 3 hours, 2 minutes, 55.5 seconds. In the women’s Olympic competition, Jennifer Johnson took first place with a time of 2:21:02.1. Jorge de Amorim Filho won the men’s Olympic race in 2:02:20.7.

In the Sprint competition, Chris Hammer finished in just under an hour (59:40.3) to claim the men’s overall title. Megan Foley won the women’s Sprint distance race in 1:04:40.0.

Though Nemeckay will compete in a half Ironman race in Miami and a full Ironman in Panama City, Florida, this fall — and has her sights set on the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, next year — she said she plans to be in town for the Echo Triathlon if her schedule allows.

“If I’m not volunteering, I’m going to be participating,” she said. “TriUtah puts on a really good race at Echo.”

Echo Triathlon Results
Olympic Men’s Overall
1. Jorge de Amorim Filho — 2:02:20.7
2. Andrew Hall — 2:02:57.0
3. Brad Gilson — 2:07:17.3
Olympic Women’s Overall
1. Jennifer Johnson — 2:21:02.1
2. Amber Foster — 2:21:22.2
3. Tracy Campbell — 2:21:43.1
Sprint Men’s Overall
1. Chris Hammer — 59:40.3
2. Evan Santo — 1:00:41.4
3. Tucker Hathaway — 1:04:18.7
Sprint Women’s Overall
1. Megan Foley — 1:04:40.0
2. Trinity Schimbeck — 1:11:51.9
3. Steph Christensen — 1:12:55.6

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