Women's champion Heather Edic braces for cold conditions on the bike.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — USA Triathlon’s 2021 National Championships season kicked off Saturday at the USA Triathlon Winter Triathlon National Championships, hosted by the Alaska Triathlon Club as part of the Tri-Flake Winter Triathlon at Kincaid Park. Alaskans dominated the event, as Anchorage locals Lars Arneson and Heather Edic won the overall titles and Alaska residents took 17 of 20 age-group victories.
Athletes started with a 6-kilometer run along the Tony Knowles Coastal trail, which features scenic views of the Gulf of Alaska and the Alaska Range. Next up was a 14k off-road bike on multi-use trails and single-track, followed by a 6.6-kilometer ski on the world-class Nordic ski trails in Kincaid Park.
The race was held with COVID-19 safety precautions in place according to USA Triathlon’s Safe Return to Multisport initiative, including self-screening and temperature checks; face coverings at all times except when actively racing; contact reduction for athletes, staff and volunteers; and increased cleaning and disinfecting practices onsite.
Edic broke the tape for the women with a time of 1 hour, 28 minutes, 6 seconds, earning both the overall title and the women’s 30-34 crown. Another Anchorage resident, Holly Brooks, was second on the overall podium and first for women 35-39 in 1:33:27. Christina Turman (Fairbanks, Alaska) was third overall in 1:36:59 and took the No. 2 spot in the women’s 30-34 age group behind Edic.
Anchorage locals made it a clean sweep of the men’s overall podium. Arneson — who recently posted the fastest known time for an unsupported double crossing of the Grand Canyon — took the top spot overall and the men’s 30-34 age group title in 1:20:55. He edged overall runner-up Brent Lowen by 35 seconds. Lowen’s 1:21:30 was good enough for second place and the men’s 35-39 title. Eric Flanders rounded out the overall top-three in 1:23:39 and was second to Lowen on the men’s 35-39 age group podium.
“I just started riding this winter and have been working to improve, but I didn't give myself much time to do so. Because of that, I knew I needed to lean into my running and skiing strength,” Arneson said. “I settled in with the front pack from the start and made my first move at the top of the hill. That move turned into the lead I was hoping for and gave me the buffer for the bike. I was riding scared the whole time and didn't let myself off easy until the second lap of the ski. Overall, I'm very happy with how hard I was able to push myself, and I really enjoyed trying something new.”
John Pierce (Westwood, Kan.) earned his third consecutive national title in the men’s 70-74 age group. Sheri Schrock (Cohasset, Minn.), 2018 Winter Triathlon World Champion in the women’s 60-64 age group and three-time Winter Triathlon Worlds medalist, returned to the top spot of the Nationals podium (F65-69) after placing second last year.
Top finishers in each age group earned the opportunity to represent Team USA at the 2022 World Triathlon Winter Championships, the dates and location of which are to be determined. To learn more about Team USA, comprised of the nation’s top amateur multisport athletes who represent the U.S. at World Triathlon Age Group Championships, visit usatriathlon.org/teamusa.
2021 USA Triathlon Winter Triathlon National Championships
6k run, 14k bike, 6.6k ski
National Champions — Complete Results
Male Overall: Lars Arneson (Anchorage, Alaska), 1:20:55
Female Overall: Heather Edic (Anchorage, Alaksa), 1:28:06
F20-24: Kylie Judd (Anchorage, Alaska), 1:50:41
M25-29: Taylor Turney (Anchorage, Alaska), 1:29:43
F25-29: Kinsey Loan (Eagle River, Alaska), 1:38:28
M30-34: Lars Arneson (Anchorage, Alaska), 1:20:55
F30-34: Heather Edic (Anchorage, Alaksa), 1:28:06
M35-39: Brent Lowen (Anchorage, Alaska), 1:21:30
F35-39: Holly Brooks (Anchorage, Alaska), 1:33:27
M40-44: Lawrence Herold (Chicago, Ill.), 1:37:23
F40-44: Amber Stull (Anchorage Alaska), 1:49:09
M45-49: Matthew Novakovich (Anchorage, Alaska), 1:26:29
F45-49: Kimberly Riggs (Anchorage, Alaska), 1:55:18
M50-54: Troy Fritzel (Anchorage, Alaska), 1:38:22
F50-54: Wendy Hansen (Anchorage, Alaska), 2:10:24
M55-59: Joey Austerman (Anchorage, Alaska), 1:41:48
F55-59: Pamela Todd (Anchorage, Alaska), 2:07:26
M60-64: John Hansen (Anchorage, Alaska), 2:15:29
F60-64: Sheryl Loan (Eagle River, Alaska), 1:51:34
M65-69: John Bennett (Fairbanks, Alaska), 2:37:27
F65-69: Sheri Schrock (Cohasset, Minn.), 2:50:26
M70-74: John Pierce (Westwood, Kan.), 2:57:34
About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 events and connects with more than 400,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work at the grassroots level with athletes, coaches, and race directors — as well as the USA Triathlon Foundation — USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including World Triathlon Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of World Triathlon and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC).