KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany – Reigning U.S. Forces Europe triathlon champions Benjamin Martinelli of Heidelberg and Michelle Wild of Ramstein retained their titles Saturday in the FCK Triathlon Championships, according to Tom Burkett, sports director for U.S. Air Forces in Europe.
Competing in the Olympic distance event (1.5-kilometer swim, 37-kilometer bike ride and 10-kilometer run) Martinelli and Wild posted the two fastest times by U.S. Forces competitors in the event. Martinelli, racing in the 30-year age category, covered the distance in 2 hours, 8 minutes, 23 seconds. He was 11th overall, 8:18 behind the winner. Wild, racing in the 25-year age group, was clocked in 2:27:20, 58th overall.
Other women’s U.S. Forces champions were Lori Nix of Heidelberg in the 35-year group in 2:38.58 and Gail Gilderoy of Stuttgart in the 40-year group in 2:50:19.
Ramstein racers Kristi Tjoa (2:34.46) and Lisa Tolarchyk (3:22:37) placed second to Wild and Gilderoy, respectively.
Joining Martinelli as U.S. Forces men’s Olympic-distance champions were four Ramstein riders. Walter Johnson won the 40-year title at 2:29.30, Lawrence Purdue topped the 45s at 2:35:20, Karl Gruner won the 50-year group at 2:31:13, and Guy Hrushka claimed the 55-year title in 2:49:39.
Karcher Wild of Ramstein placed second to Johnson in 2:34:18.
In the sprint-distance event (.5-kilometer swim, 17-kilometer bike ride and 5-kilometer run), Meghan Louk of Stuttgart topped the 18-year-old women in 1:22:19.
Spangdahlem’s Daniel Avondoglio won the men’s sprint 35s in 1:03:44, eighth overall behind the winning time of 57:06. Kaiserslautern’s Brent Tryon placed second to Avondoglio in 1:16:19.
Kevin Pick of Stuttgart topped the U.S. Forces 30-year-olds in 1:17:38. He was followed in the category by Ramstein’s Derek Hinderliter (1:33:24) and Heidelberg’s Thomas Evans (1:34:39).
Seven U.S. riders completed the sprint-distance race. Eighteen Americans went the distance in the Olympic event.