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Over 5,000 Compete At 7th Annual Nation’s Triathlon

Competitors from 48 states and 16 countries made up a field of more than 5,000 entrants.

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The 7th Annual Nation’s Triathlon To Benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society took place under ideal weather conditions today in the National Capital. Competitors from 48 states and 16 countries, including active duty service members and first responders, made up a field of more than 5,000 entrants who competed in the international distance triathlon swim, bike and run event.

Read the complete race recap, provided by the race, below:

First across the finish line in West Potomac Park was 21-year-old Bobby Thorborg, winning his first triathlon with a time of 2 hours, 4 minutes and 44 seconds. Thorborg was the second swimmer out of the water and took the lead with an impressive bike leg. He ran alone until the final quarter mile of the event, when James Linville closed the gap, however Thorborg rose to the challenge to break the tape first. Linville’s efforts were for naught however, as he was penalized two minutes for drafting and ended up finishing 5th overall.

“It was nice, a fast bike and I might have pushed the bike a little much but I was able to hold on and power through it,” said Thorborg, who grew up in upstate New York and recently moved to Baltimore. “My strategy was to get out in front. I always want to push myself and get the best out of me. Someone told me that I was alone but then with a quarter mile left I saw him. I put my best effort forward and I’m really happy to win.”

Winning the women’s elite race was 30-year-old Stephanie Ewert of Washington DC, with a time of 2:14:15. Ewert trains locally with the DC Tri Club, one of the largest triathlon clubs in the United States.

“It feels great, this is super exciting. The conditions were perfect; the water was calm and a good temperature. I’m a swimmer and I like non-wetsuit swims,” said Ewert, who finished in the top-5 at the Nation’s Triathlon last year and has only competed in the sport for three years. “I didn’t know I was going to win until I crossed the finish line — you don’t know until you cross.”

The 2012 Nation’s Triathlon maintained its reputation as America’s most popular triathlon event, having set a Guinness Book of World Records mark as the largest “International Distance Triathlon Event” in the U.S. in 2010. Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner finished the 1.5k swim, 40k bike and 10k run with a time of 2:33:07. Also competing in the event for the first time was ESPN College Basketball Analyst Andy Katz, finishing with a time of 3:19:44.

PHOTOS: 2012 Nation’s Triathlon

“Beautiful weather and it was a very well run event, you can’t beat the course. I’ve been competing in triathlons for two years and this is the first year I’ve two completed two Olympic events,” said Katz, who tweeted that he improved his international distance PR by 21 minutes. “With my travel schedule for this event I had to be a little creative with my training. But I love the diversity of triathlon training and I loved riding on these closed down roads which are usually busy with traffic.

With a start time of 7:00 am, there were five “races-within-a-race” featuring federal, military, military academy, first responder and Tri Club challenges.  The Commander-In-Chief Challenge included cadets from the United States Naval Academy, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Military Academy – Army.  Sam Roets, age 18 from Watertown, WI took the top spot with a time of 2:18:53.  Among women, Erin Talbot, age 21, from New London, CT came first with a time of 2:23:43. The U.S. Coast Guard swept both the male and female team awards.

Through Team In Training (TNT), participants raised $1.3 million for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society at this year’s Nation’s Triathlon, which is the only triathlon in the country dedicated to building awareness and raising money for the treatment of leukemia and blood-related cancers. To date, the partnership has generated more than $12 million for research, patient education and support initiatives.

“Today was as close to perfect as you can get. We had 32 chapters represented here in our nation’s capital supported by a tremendous showing from our local chapter in Washington DC,” said Chris Fenton, Vice President of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. “This was my first triathlon event and it was great to be a part of it. I’m happy we could have such a presence here and we look forward to growing our program and returning year after year to fund our mission of finding a cure for blood cancer.”