Home Sports Local Sports Milkman Triathlon delivers in Dexter

Milkman Triathlon delivers in Dexter

From L-R: Ashley Donaldson, Terry Casey and Alissa Pajer stand on the podium during Saturday’s Milkman Triathlon in Dexter. (Mike Smith Photo)

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DEXTER — Saturday scores of triathletes from New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Virginia and even the Republic of Mexico competed in the 34th annual Milkman Triathlon at Lake Van near Dexter.

Participants swam under a mile, biked more than 12 miles and ran over three miles during the event which lasted more than three hours.

There was quite a diversification in ages on the men’s side as the youngest competitor was 15 years old and the oldest was 81.

The overall winner for the guys was 28-year-old Rance Irvin from Albuquerque. He hit the finish line with an overall time of 58 minutes, 14.1 seconds. He was followed by Gage Boonestro from Portales with a time of 1 hour, 3 minutes, 3 seconds and Ian Pondo from El Paso came in third.

Gateway Christian head track coach Perry Toles from Roswell finished tenth with a time of 1 hour, 9 minutes, 24.8 seconds.

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‘I was wanting to do better than I did last year,” said Toles. “I distinguished myself last year having the slowest time ever. But this time I was one minute slower and I think that was due to the elements. The wind was a factor today, but my placing was much better. Whenever you can crack the Top 10, especially at my age, I’m very happy.”

Toles is 61 and he competed in a mixed relay with Jim Hudson and Kelley Alsup all from Roswell. The trio took first in the 60-64 age category.

“I had a teammate who did the cycling and a teammate who did the run,” Toles said. “We had the fastest relay team of them all.”

Toles admits that spending more than hour competing in a triathlon isn’t much when talking about time.

“No matter what you’re doing, you break it up in three different events,” said Toles. “If you can train for about 60 minutes in any event, you’ve pretty much got the endurance. You’ve got to break it down between the swim and run.”

Toles feels scampering with the Gateway Christian track team this past season has helped with his running.

“I’m out there usually, but not all the time running with the kids and so I felt like my run was in pretty good shape this year because of that,” Toles said.

On the ladies side the youngest competitor was 16 and the oldest was 71.

Terry Casey, a 39-year-old special education teacher from Albuquerque, finished first overall with a time of 1 hour, 7 minutes, 7.6 seconds. She was followed by Alissa Pajer from Socorro and Ashley Donaldson from Lubbock.

“It was great,” Casey said. “This race always brings in a lot of people from all over the state. We had a tough bike course, which was unusual. But, it’s always been a great event.”

Casey is a veteran of the Milkman Triathlon and she competes in multiple events in a given year.

“I like to do the local ones and this one is on my schedule,” Casey said. “I also do a few out of state as well.”

Casey made the trip to Chaves County on Friday and she said having competed at Lake Van in the past is a big plus.

“I’ve done this course so many times,” Casey said. “I’m familiar with the bumpy roads and the curves. This wind was a new one. I don’t think it’s been this windy for a few years.”

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