By Roxane Kippen, Team OAM NOW/Athletic Mentors Tri-athlete
This weekend was a busy one for Michigan triathletes, including Team OAM NOW / ATHLETIC MENTORS, whose athletes batted 1000 in podium performances at both the Little Traverse Triathlon in Harbor Springs, MI and the Grand Haven Triathlon in Grand Haven, MI.
Chuck Grzanka and Jeff Towner won their age groups,Paul Raynes was third in his age group and Roxane Kippen won the overall female at Little Traverse. Meanwhile, in Grand Haven, Todd Anthes was third in his age group.
Little Traverse Triathlon is in its 6th year and boasts some of the most beautiful scenery of any race in the state. The 600 meter swim is in the crystal clear, 66 degree water of Little Traverse Bay, where racers can see the bottom of the bay for the entire swim. The 19.6 mile bike follows M119 as it climbs out of Harbor Springs through the beautiful Tunnel of Trees and the 4 mile run course sends racers out and back on the stunning shoreline of the bay past beautiful historic homes.
Little Traverse is an annual event for Team OAM NOW / ATHLETIC MENTORS triathletes Chuck Grzanka and Jeff Towner. They have a home course advantage and it paid off with first place finishes in their respective age groups. Teammates Paul Raynes and Roxane Kippen were new to the event this year and found their way to the podium as well with a third place age group finish and overall female win, respectively.
Grand Haven Triathlon has been a popular West Michigan race for a number of years with a great venue along the Lake Michigan shoreline. The Olympic distance race includes a 1500 meter swim along the sandy beach at Grand Haven State Park, followed by a 40 kilometer bike on the rolling hills of Lakeshore Drive and a 10 kilometer run along the boardwalk and around Harbor Island.
Grand Haven is a home town race for Team OAM NOW / ATHLETIC MENTORS triathlete Todd Anthes. He trains in the chilly Lake Michigan waters and puts in a lot of miles on the local bike and run course. The race this year was changed to a duathlon because lake conditions were too dangerous for swimmers, so the 1500 meter swim was exchanged for a 5 kilometer run. Todd pulled out a solid run-bike-run for third in his age group and finished less than ten seconds off a top 10 overall finish, which is a tremendous achievement given the strong men’s field at this event.