Veterans David Thompson and Becky Lavelle showcase skills with dominating performances at Giant Eagle 5150 TriathlonCOLUMBUS, Ohio — David Thompson (known as DKT) backed up his low key self-evaluation from a recent interview on Slowtwitch.com (ST) by dominating a fast pro field at the Giant Eagle 5150 in Columbus Ohio on Sunday (July 29).
Thompson told ST on July 24 that “non-drafting Olympic races are probably my strength" and he validated that with a 1:44:19 at the Giant Eagle 5150 in Columbus. Only in its second year, 2012 marked the first year that it was also part of the Ironman 5150 series. Clearly the pro field took note of the Giant Eagle last year, and recognized the opportunity to make a little “Pro money" in Ohio, as more than 30 pro’s registered for the Giant Eagle 5150. An Olympic wife and a few injuries forced a few solid contenders to pull out, but a strong field of 20+ pro’s hit the beach at Giant Eagle. A point to point race featuring a swim in Alum Creek Lake, a ride route that boasts more than 10 miles of downhill racing, and a run course through the heart of downtown Columbus, the runners finished between the home venues of both the Columbus Blue Jackets hockey team and the Clippers baseball stadium. All in the morning shade of the Columbus skyline and almost perfect race conditions.
Thompson was 5th out of the water behind Pro rookies Michael Fox and Kyle Lee (Lee was a standout swimmer at Alabama), but a field best 51:03 on the bike gave DKT a lead to work with, and he didn’t look back on the run, outpacing Kaleb Van Ort by 00:01:04 overall. Van Ort had the fastest run split at 32:25, but couldn’t overtake Thompson and finished with a 1:45:23. Lee lost some time on the bike after scorching the water, but then posted the third best run split to take 3rd overall at 1:47:24.
Former local now racing out of Richmond Virginia Eric Limkemann used the Giant Eagle 5150 as his first race back from a painful injury, and was in the lead pack coming out of the water. He said afterwards that he “had only a bit of pain in the second half of the run", and managed to put up a 1:48:20 – good enough for 4th overall and a 4 digit payday. Also in the money was Damian Hill in 5th at 1:48:40, and Karl Kahsar rounded out the top 6 at 1:48:54.
The women’s field featured a true veteran, and she used all of her talent and experience to show the rest of them how to win races. 38 year old Becky Lavelle used her 15 years as a pro to hold off a field where the average age was more than a decade her junior. A minute behind the leader out of the water, Lavelle, fellow Californian Amanda Felder, and New Yorker Anna Battiata battled each other for the entire course, with Lavelle’s 38:26 run being the fastest, and the difference, as she wins it with a 1:58:10. Battiata was less than a minute behind in 2nd at 1:59:01; and Felder filed out the top 3 at 2:01:30.
Ohio pro Jen Spieldenner used this “home race" as a chance to recognize fans and sponsors, and the always personable Spieldenner joked with age-groupers in the meet-n-greet that she “hoped she could keep up with them" as she is rehabbing a recurring injury, and has only been running for about 3 weeks. The injury didn’t affect her swim, as her 18:51 put her ahead of the women’s field by a full minute and in the middle of the men’s wave as they hit the beach. She held steady and worked through her issues, and managed a solid 2:02:30 for a 4th place payday. On a “yes, they are crazy" note – Spieldenner and Felder then rode the bike course in reverse as a cool down prior to Felder departing Port Columbus airport. Mortals might have settled for a massage and a nap – but not these two. Beth Schutt and Max Seear rounded out the ladies with 2:06:08 and 2:09:58 respectively.
- Rich Fowler
- Robb McCormick photo credit