More than 130 people competed in Sunday’s Journey for Joanne Triathalon, held on Towamencin Streets and at the township swimming pool on Weikel Road. That’s a record, up from about 75 last year. Medal winners included Jennifer Benner of Hatfield, who finished third among women in the 30-to-34 age group. She says she swims at North Penn High School and also at the Hatfield Aquatic Center.
“I’ll run and ride, and then I’ll do a short swim, and then I’ll run and ride my bike again. This is my second triathalon. I guess I like torture, ha ha. It’s awfully hard sometimes when you’re out there practicing and racing, but you just have to tell yourself to keep going, be tough and finish it up. It’s satisfying. Even if I don’t do well my goal is to finish it, and not walk, hopefully. It makes me feel good.”
Benner says she was pleased with her time of one hour and 15 minutes. The triathletes swim for a quarter of a mile, then run for about a mile, bike ten miles, and finish with a five-mile run. And in the triathalon world, that’s considered short. The winner among men age 50 to 59 was David Lange of Philadelphia, who says the training is hard and the race itself is harder, but he feels good afterward.
“The fact that you exercise makes you eat right because you don’t want to put too much crap in your body if you’re going to have go to a six-mile run or a 30-mile bike ride, so it translates into a lot more energy and stamina for day-to-day life, and also I can lord it over all my peers. I was at a party recently where there were all these guys about my same age, and they were all kind of hobbling around and complaining of these ailments, and I know I can go out there and kick their butts. Ha, ha, ha.”
Lange says this was his sixth triathalon of the year, and he plans to do a few more. Proceeds benefit the Towamencin Community Wellness Foundation, which will make a donation to the Wellness Center for cancer survivors in Lansdale. It also supports the pool and other Towamencin Township recreation programs.