Mark Harms, a 37-year-old from Madison, won his sixth title in the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships in Milwaukee on Saturday, and finished within a minute of winning the overall Olympic-distance race that included 3,100 of the country’s top amateur athletes.
Harms covered the 1,500-meter swim, 40K bike and 10K run in 1 hour, 51 minutes, 45 seconds, good for second place overall behind Steven Mantell, of Fort Collins, Colo., who topped the field. Harms continued his run of success with the victory in the 35-39 age group. Fellow 35-39 competitor James Burke, of Middleton, was third overall in 1:52:06, having aged up from the 30-34 age group that he won last year.
“The national championships are becoming more and more competitive every year,” Harms said. “This is my ninth year doing this and […] it keeps getting higher and higher caliber athletes every year. It easily is the most competitive Olympic-distance race in the country right now.”
In the women’s division, Heather Lendway, of St. Paul, Minn., put up the fastest time of the day, 2 hours, 5 minutes, 7 seconds and won the overall and the 20-24 age group.
Dani Fischer, a former University of Wisconsin – Madison runner, finished second overall to win her 25-29 age group in a time of 2:05:35, improving on her ninth-place age group finish and 20th overall women’s finish from 2013. Jennifer Garrison (Naperville, Ill.) also improved on her finish position from last year, winning the female 35-39 age group in 2:06:38 after finishing second in 2013, and finishing third overall for the women.
Tom Held blogs at TheActivePursuit.com for Silent Sports.