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Local Athletes Compete In Door County Triathlon

The 9th annual Door County Sprint & Half Ironman Triathlon events were held July 20 and 21 at Frank Murphy Park in Egg Harbor. Participants from 10 different states and 3 countries gathered to test themselves at the popular Midwest triathlon.  

The races kicked off on Saturday with the Sprint Triathlon and Sprint Relay. A total of 798 individuals and 50 relay teams completed the 1/4 mile swim, 18 mile bike, and 3.1 mile run. Choppy waters but pleasant temperatures greeted Sprint participants at the 8AM firing of the starting horn.

Adam Ankrum of Crivitz posted the best time of area athletes blazing through the course in a time of 1 hour 11 minutes to finish third overall, and first of 62 in his male 40-44 age group. Steve Schahczenski of Menominee clocked the next best time in the area finishing in 1 hour 24 minutes to finish 77th. He was followed by Alex Mattson of Felch in 1:31, Jaclyn Seid of Menominee in 1:32, and Kristin Hodkiewicz of Lena in 1:33.

Other area racers who completed the Sprint Distance included: Dr. Robert Sonnenburg and Kate Matykowski of Peshtigo, Guy Powers and Marsha Rettke of Marinette, Tracey Lemire and Telly Villas of Menominee, and Matt Anderson of Wallace.

  The Half Ironman and Half Ironman Relay events took place on Sunday morning. Greeted by pleasantly cool temperatures and some early morning rain, the weather continued to improve throughout the day.

Consisting of a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride, and 13.1 mile run, the Half Ironman tests not only the physical limits of the body, but also the mental limits when constantly in motion for 4 to 8 hours. A total of 834 individuals and 47 relay teams completed the test. In the Half Iron Relay event 2 teams comprised of local athletes captured podium positions and took home Olympic sized medals for their efforts.

In the men’s relay, Adam Ankrum of Crivitz teamed with Brian Cleven of Marinette (Team name, The Dudes) to post the top time of all relays finishing the combined 70.3 miles in 4 hours 31 minutes. Ankrum swam 36:58 for the 1.2 miles then handed off the timing chip to Cleven who produced a relay best 23.1 mph average completing the 56 mile bike in 2 hours 25 minutes. Cleven then made the final pass of the chip to Ankrum who sealed the deal with his 1 hour 28 minute performance for the 13.1 mile run.

The women’s relay saw Angie Matykowski, Amy Cleven, and Laura Ankrum (The Dudettes) team up to finish third in 5 hours 8 minutes. Matykowski started the ladies off strong with her 34:08 swim, Cleven hammered out a 20.1 mph average finishing the bike course in 2 hours 47 minutes before passing the chip to Ankrum, who laid down a 1 hour 45 minute half marathon and secured a podium placing.

Lori Witt of Oconto Falls captained the relay team “The Iron Maidens” who completed the course in 5 hours 34 minutes. In the individual half ironman competition, Matykowski continued on after the swim to complete the event in 5 hours 33 minutes to post the best area time. She was followed by Greg Beltrone of Peshtigo in 6:09, Alex Mattson of Felch in 6:11, Deedee Thull of Marinette in 6:16, Tim and Jeannette Plichta of Menominee finishing in 6:25 and 6:46, and George McGillivray of Menominee in 7:21.

Whether fast or slow, completing the Half Ironman event requires weeks and months of preparation, dedication, family support, and some degree of sacrifice to cross the finish line.

Upcoming running and multi-sport events include the Waterfront 5K/10K events on August 3 in Menominee, the Oshkosh Sprint and Olympic Triathlon August 4, and the Aurora 5K and Half Marathon on August 17 in Marinette.  


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