Iron Couple |

Iron Couple

Jeff CaspersenGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Post Independent/Kelley Cox

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. Pushing each other step for step, Marco Salmen and Charlie Wertheim called on every ounce of reserve energy in their respective tanks. That, with Casey Vaughn nipping at their heels.Zooming down Seventh Street toward the finish line in front of the Hotel Denver, with a raucous gallery serving as a festive backdrop, Salmen’s steps carried the Duke alum across the line first. Exhausted, Salmen hit up the aid station at street’s end, grabbing a cup of water and dousing his dark, curly hair. He then walked across the street and found a seat on a patch of grass outside the train station.And, for all its drama, that was just the battle for second at Sunday’s 23rd annual Tri-Glenwood triathlon.

Back down Seventh stood first-place winner Kerry Classen, chatting up locals after besting the field by 42 seconds with a time of 1 hour, 22 minutes and 20 seconds. Salmen, who along with his brother Chas was a former cross country and track standout at Duke University, clocked in 4 seconds ahead of Wertheim and 5 seconds ahead of Vaughn at 1:23:02. Salmen, Wertheim and Vaughn all hail from Glenwood Springs.Classen’s wife, Carina, made the day extra special for the New Castle family by timing in as the women’s overall winner with a time of 1:35.42.Kerry’s win wasn’t much of a shocker, considering he’s two years removed from a career as a professional triathlete. Carina has plenty of races under her belt but had no idea she’d challenge for – let alone take home – the title. Immediately after the race, she had no idea she had won. Because the race is segmented into multiple heats, with the more accomplished participants in the later waves, the post-race scene is a bit chaotic. Carina actually thought two or three women had finished ahead of her.Turns out, she was probably just tailing women from previous heats.

“You never know,” she said, forecasting the possibility of a win moments after finishing.But she didn’t think she had a chance at first, particularly since she hadn’t devoted much time to training with two young kids – 5-year-old Caleb and 2-year-old Taylor.”The run hurt a lot,” the pediatric nurse practitioner at Castle Valley Children’s Clinic said, “not as bad as I thought, but it was a bit long for what I’ve been doing. I figured I could fake the swimming and bike parts enough, and then hopefully just get through the run.”The 36-year-old did just that, and enough more, to edge out second-place finisher Susan Griffin-Kaklikian of Castle Rock. Griffin-Kakiklian, 52, is a past Tri-Glenwood winner and finished in 1:36:17, 35 seconds back of Classen.

Another former champ, 40-year-old Leslie Fotopulos, finished third in 1:36:24 on the course that featured a 825-meter swim through the warm waters at the Hot Springs pool, a 15-mile bike leg routing riders to Canyon Creek and back, and a five-mile run from the pool up the bike path to 27th Street and back via Midland Avenue to the Seventh Street finish line.

The Classens are the first couple to account for both overall titles at Tri-Glenwood. Upon hearing their training regimen of late, one wouldn’t have guessed they could have pulled off such a feat.”I planned to train a bit more, but didn’t get around to it,” said Kerry, a 35-year-old stay-at-home dad. “I’ve actually been playing a lot of poker in Nevada. Drinking beer and playing poker isn’t conducive to this kind of thing. So many days I decide not to go for a run. I think it’s just because I had so many years of total commitment, where I had to go out there. It came with doing it for a living.”But experience paid off in the end for Kerry – whose family moved to the valley from Bend, Ore., nearly a year ago – and just managed to hold off the competition in the waning moments.”For me, I have so much experience, so many years, I just know when to push it,” he said. “I know how to keep from blowing up. I thought those guys could beat me. They raced great. One of these days, I’ll run out of residuals from my old training and actually lose.”Notes: There were 46 teams and 252 Tri-Glenwood individual entrants – 135 women and 117 men.

Overall results (top 10)Men1. Kerry Classen, New Castle, 1:22:202. Marco Salmen, Glenwood, 1:23:023. Charlie Wertheim, Glenwood, 1:23:064. Casey Vaughn, Glenwood, 1:23:075. Paul Turtle, Littleton, 1:23.376. Philip Hackbarth, Colo. Springs, 1:25:037. Kevin Bax, Thornton, 1:29:518. Jeffrey Hulett, Golden, 1:30:399. Brian Passenti, Glenwood, 1:30:42 10. Chas Salmen, Glenwood, 1:32:31.Women1. Carina Classen, New Castle, 1:35:422. Susan Griffin-Kaklikian, Castle Rock, 1:36:173. Leslie Fotopulos, Littleton, 1:36:244. Heidi Vosbeck, Glenwood, 1:39:365. Cheryl Castle, Silt, 1:40:476. Julie Lyons, Greenwood Village, 1:41:417. Nicole Cavarra, Carbondale, 1:43:118. Sarah Shepard, Glenwood, 1:43:239. Shannon Ullman, Glenwood, 1:44:2110. Candy Granger-Underhill, Glenwood, 1:45:44.Relay team results (top three)Men1. ?????, 1:34:29; 2. SGM, 1:34:59; 3. One Shot Wonders, 1:40:40.Women1. The Early Morning Swim Chicks, 1:38:09; 2. Closet Scientists, 1:38:26; 3. Cindys Team, 1:38:54.Co-ed1. Can Openers, 1:30:26; 2. Exclusive Athletic Club Gym Rats, 1:31:44; 3. Team Dawrant, 1:36:33.First-time triathlete winnersMenJohn Miner, Silt, 1:38:56.WomenSarah Shepard, Glenwood, 1:43:23.Physically challenged winner1. Nancy Stevens, Glenwood, 2:04:19.Top splitsMenSwim Zack Jay, Bozeman (Mont.), 10:47; transition 1 Kerry Classen, 0:34; bike Casey Vaughn, 36:20; transition 2 Steve Blair, Glenwood, 0:23; run Marco Salmen, 28:48.WomenSwim Rachel Rey, Glenwood, 11:31; transition 1 Heidi Vosbeck, 0:37; bike Leslie Fotopulos, 41:35; transition 2 Shannon Ullman, 0:35; run Sarah Shepard, 34:46.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User