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Locals finish strong in Great Island Race Triathlons

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CLINTON COUNTY VISITORS BUREAU Brad Semle, of Mill Hall, right, was the first-place finisher in the swim, pedal and run triathlon, turning in a time of 1 hour, 31 minutes. He received the ironman award from race director Drew Talbot.

LOCK HAVEN — The “locals” dominated the field this weekend at the Great Island Race Series of Triathlons, held Saturday morning at the Lockport Boat Launch in Woodward Township.

Drew Talbot of Lock Haven, who serves as race director, also competed in the event and was the first overall finisher in the individual race, which included a 5K kayak course on the Susquehanna River, a 25K bicycle course, and a 5K run on the levee riverwalk. Talbot turned in a time of 1 hour, 36 minutes to take the Ironman trophy, followed by Michael Byers of Pittsburgh with a time of 1:38, and Valerie Christoff (who took the Ironwoman award as the first female finisher) with a time of 1:43.

In the 750m swim, 25K bike and 5K run triathlon, Brad Semle, of Mill Hall, took the Ironman award with a time of 1 hour, 31 minutes. He was followed by Dan Reese of Carlisle with a time of 1:32, and Ryan Setlock of Barnsville, with a time of 1:39. The first female finisher was Christine Holtz of State College, who completed the course in 1 hour, 50 minutes and was 7th overall.

Teams also competed in their own triathlons, with a trio from Lycoming County finishing the kayak/bike/run triathlon in first place. Kayaker Ron Kaiser, bicyclist Devon Devito and runner Wes Fry from the team “Going No Place Fast” had an overall time of 1:24. In the swim triathlon, the team “Two Tree Guys from Queens” out of Queens, New York, took top honors. Swimmer Eddie O’Connor, bicyclist Anthony Musso and runner Dan Rossman finished the course in 1:20.

It was also two Clinton County individuals who made up the youngest and oldest participants in the triathlon. Fifteen-year-old Asher Talbot, of Lock Haven, finished 10th in the individual kayak/bike/run triathlon on Saturday, with a time of 1:57. He also won Friday night’s mini-triathlon.

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CLINTON COUNTY VISITORS BUREAU Team “Two Tree Guys from Queens” from Queens, N.Y., won the swim relay triathlon. From left, runner Dan Rossman, Great Island Race Director Drew Talbot, swimmer Eddie O’Connor, and biker Anthony Musso receive their first place award.

Renovo resident John “JJ” Morocko was the oldest to complete in the individual triathlon on Saturday. The 87-year-old finished the course in 3 hours, 15 minutes, declaring he was now able to check that event off of his bucket list.

In all, close to 100 people competed in the various triathlons. The Great Island Race Series is hosted by the Lock Haven Rotary Club, with proceeds benefitting local nonprofits. This year’s beneficiaries are the Lock Haven Branch YMCA, Annie Halenbake Ross Library, and Merit House Homeless Shelter.

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CLINTON COUNTY VISITORS BUREAU Drew Talbot, of Lock Haven, and Valerie Christoff, of Ligonier, Pa., were the ironman and woman in the Great Island Triathlon Saturday, finishing the kayak, bike and run course in 1 hour, 36 minutes and 1 hour, 43 minutes, respectively.

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CLINTON COUNTY VISITORS BUREAU The oldest participant in Saturday’s triathlon is pictured: 78-year-old John “JJ” Morocko of Renovo, who was the last to cross the finish line in 3:15

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CLINTON COUNTY VISITORS BUREAU The youngest participant in Saturday’s triathlon is pictured: 15-year-old Asher Talbot of Lock Haven, who finished 10th in the individual (kayak, bike, run) event with a time of 1:57.

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