Aukeman celebrates 10th anniversary

Bursell looks to go for a third title

The Aukeman Triathlon will be celebrating its 10th year anniversary on Saturday.

The triathlon, which started by John Bursell and Tracy Rivera, consists of a 750-meter swim, 19-kilometer bike and 5-kilometer run around Auke Lake.

The race attracted 70 participants last year. Jordan Callahan won the women’s race for the second straight year while Bursell claimed the top spot in the men’s race, finishing in 1 hour, 4 minutes, 30 seconds. Bursell and second-place finisher Justin Dorn were the only racers to eclipse the 70-minute mark.

Bursell has competed in the last three Aukemans — winning in both 2015 and 2017 — after passing the race director torch to Liz Smith. In 2016 Bursell shaved off almost a minute from his time from the year before but a strong outing by Outsider Mick Bakker (1:03:39) bumped him to second place. Bursell, 54, said he’s not expecting to improve his time, citing not having enough training time on his bike.

Bursell, whose son Zach has also won the event multiple times, has been happy with the growth of the event over the last decade.

“The goal was really just to provide a triathlon that most people could participate in and that’s why it’s a shorter triathlon,” he said. “So it’s a reasonable distance for beginners but it’s also still a fun, enjoyable experience for experienced triathletes. Every year I see new people getting into the triathlon which is great.”

The race begins at 7:30 a.m. at the Auke Lake boat ramp.

• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or Follow Empire Sports on Twitter at @akempiresports.

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