Framke, Carpenter win Tri-Glenwood
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Kirk Framke’s speed has always taken him far in athletics.
As a high school and college football player, he’d catch passes over the middle and do his best to outleg the defense. As a triathlete, he runs away from the competition.
Framke, an Ohio native who played receiver and punter for Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa., won Sunday’s Tri-Glenwood Triathlon. The 37-year-old Denver resident, who long ago ditched the gridiron to become a triathlete, finished the 27th annual sprint triathlon in 1 hour, 18 minutes, 21 seconds.
Framke wandered into the triathlon world roughly 20 years ago.
“I was still in high school,” he relayed. “I didn’t know if I’d play football in college and a friend of mine talked me into doing a local race in Cleveland, Ohio. That’s where I started.”
College football did follow, though Framke only put in one season before shifting his focus to what would become his permanent passion.
“Triathlon sort of put an end to football,” he said.
While he put football in the rear view, the sport laid the foundation for his success as a triathlete.
“Football’s a sport unlike any other,” Framke explained. “It requires so much discipline, a willingness to work. I think that really helped with the triathlon because the people who can go really fast are the people who can push themselves through the pain, and I think football really helped with that.”
Since shutting that team sport window, his athletic career has exploded.
As his 7-year-old son Campbell exuberantly pointed out, Framke won the 35-39 division at the USA Triathlon (USAT) National Age Group Championship in 2009. A fourth-place finish at last year’s International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championship Grand Final in Budapest, Hungary, and a win at this year’s USAT Aquathlon also rate high among the phenom’s recent accolades.
The ITU Long Course Triathlon World Championships in Henderson, Nev., await Framke in November.
Sunday’s race served a as a nice warm-up, and a nice getaway for Framke’s family. His wife, Erin, and both of the couple’s children – Campbell and 3-year-old Anja – all made the trip.
“It’s been a great weekend,” said Framke, who learned of the Tri-Glenwood Triathlon from last year’s women’s winner Shannon Prince, a family friend. “It’s wonderful up here.”
Tailing Framke across the line on Sunday was Englewood’s Jason Hilgers (1:23.18). Glenwood’s Mark Bauer took third (1:23:48), Carbondale’s Charlie Wertheim fourth (1:24:15) and Glenwood’s Dave Weidemann fifth (1:28:01).
Carbondale’s Kallie Carpenter is no stranger to Tri-Glenwood gold. The 37-year-old mother of two captured the women’s title for the third time in four years on Sunday, finishing in 1:29:04.
Carpenter used the race as a tune-up for the XTERRA USA Championship in Ogden, Utah, later this month. She’s been competing in XTERRAs off-road triathlons throughout the summer.
As for Tri-Glenwood, Carpenter enjoys the community atmosphere.
“This one’s more for fun,” she said. “It’s such a community-type event. This is my first on-road triathlon [this summer]. I’ve been focusing on off-road ones.”
If Sunday’s performance is any sort of gauge of where Carpenter’s at, she should be in prime shape for her trip to Utah later this month.
With Carpenter fronting the pack, four of the top five finishers in the women’s field were local athletes.
Finishing second was Glenwood’s Heidi Vosbeck (1:35:07). Third went to Glenwood Springs High School student Lily Thorsen (1:36:57). Carbondale’s Nicole Cavarra finished fourth (1:39:06) and Heather Meacham of Littleton nabbed fifth (1:39:18).
The Tri-Glenwood Triathlon consists of an 825-meter swim at the Hot Springs Lodge pool, a 15-mile bike ride from the pool to Canyon Creek and back and a five-mile run along Glenwood’s river trail and Midland Avenue.
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