Local Runners Drozd, Melzer Win Olympic-distance Event at Pittsburgh Triathlon & Adventure Race

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Strzempek, Christoff win Adventure Race; more than 300 athletes compete in first day of Pittsburgh Triathlon events at Point State Park

PITTSBURGH – On a steamy, humid morning, more than 300 athletes competed in the first day of events at the 19th Pittsburgh Triathlon & Adventure presented by First National Bank. With the water activities cancelled for the weekend, athletes in the Olympic-distance and Adventure events raced in a duathlon with a bike time trial start followed by a run, which finished in Point State Park.

Alex Drozd, 23, from Bethel Park, Pa., and Heather Melzer, 47, from Mars, Pa., prevailed at the Olympic-distance and took home first finishing in 1:40:38 and 1:59:32, respectively.

“I never thought I would come in first,” Drozd said, who competed in his first Pittsburgh Triathlon today. “The competition was really strong. I was happy with my finish.”

Following closely behind Drozd was David Wirth, 28, from Pittsburgh, finishing second in 1:41:03. Ben Erdeljac, 38, from Pittsburgh, Pa., took home third place with 1:46:14.

Melzer finished more than eight minutes ahead of Lauryn Falcone, 26, from Morgantown, WV, who finished in second with a time of 2:07:29. Melissa Hersh, 39, from Ellicott City, MD, came in third with a time of 2:10:51.

In the Adventure Race, Stan Strzempek, 43, from Allison Park, Pa., took home first with a finishing time of 57:40, and Valerie Christoff, 46, from Ligonier, Pa., was the first woman with a time of 1:02:01.

Strzempek beat Michael Cole, 35, from Pittsburgh, who finished in 58:03 and Tim Spang, 48, from Gibsonia, Pa., who finished in 59:48.

“I used a tactical approach and waited until everyone went out on the bike portion,” Stzempek said. “I saw people in front of me, and I gave it my all to catch them. Riding up the HOV lane is a true test.”

Elizabeth Frame, 47, of Downingtown, Pa., and Edna Spang, 48, of Gibsonia, Pa. finished in second (1:03:57) and third (1:04:34).

“I was sad about the water portion being canceled, but I appreciated everyone looking out for the safety of the athletes,” Christoff said.

For complete results, go to http://www.PittsburghTriathlon.org. Events continue tomorrow with the Sprint Distance starting at 7:30 a.m. at Point State Park.

For questions about timing or results, please email  J&A Racing at timing@jandaracing.com.

19th Pittsburgh Triathlon & Adventure Race
August 13, 2016
Pittsburgh, PA

Olympic-distance (40K Bike and 10K Run)

Men
1  Alex Drozd Bethel Park, PA 1:40:38
2  David Wirth Pittsburgh, PA 1:41:03
3  Ben Erdeljac Pittsburgh, PA 1:46:14
4  Chandler Carranza Sewickley, PA 1:48:54
5  Sean Battis Pittsburgh, PA 1:49:29

Women
1  Heather Melzer Mars, PA 1:59:32
2  Lauryn Falcone Morgantown, WV 2:07:29
3  Melissa Hersh Ellicott City, MD 2:10:51
4  Rosalie Smith Waterford, PA 2:14:03
5  KC Emerson Pittsburgh, PA 2:14:08

Adventure Race (20K Bike and 5K Run)

Men
1  Stan Strzempek Allison Park, PA 57:40
2  Michael Cole Pittsburgh, PA 58:03
3  Tim Spang Gibsonia, PA 59:48
4  Paul Humphreys Pittsburgh, PA 1:00:25
5  James Bond Pittsburgh, PA 1:01:21

Women
1  Valerie Christoff Ligonier, PA 1:02:01
2  Elizabeth Frame Downingtown, PA 1:03:57
3  Edna Spang Gibsonia, PA 1:04:34
4  Rhonda Merhaut Gibsonia, PA 1:10:06
5  Heather Slater Cranberry Twp., PA 1:10:20

About Pittsburgh Triathlon & Adventure Race
The Pittsburgh Triathlon was created by Friends of the Riverfront in 1998 as a fundraising event that showcases recreational use of the rivers and trails. The Pittsburgh Triathlon, which is produced by P3R, includes the USA Triathlon-sanctioned bike/run/swim event as well as the Adventure Race, a bike/run/paddle in either a kayak or canoe. A Triathlon Sprint—half the distances of full-length Olympic-distance triathlon competition—also is available to participants. The swim portion of the Triathlon is held in the Allegheny River, assuming conditions of the Friends of the Riverfront River Contact policy are met. The Pittsburgh Triathlon has achieved Green Certification by Athletes for a Fit Planet each year since 2010. To register or for more information on the Pittsburgh Triathlon, visit: http://www.PittsburghTriathlon.org.
FACEBOOK: Pittsburgh Triathlon and Adventure Race TWITTER @PghTriathlon

About P3R
Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon, Inc. (P3R) is a non-profit organization which promotes the love of long-distance running and enhances community involvement in fitness activities through high quality events open to a wide variety of ages and ability levels. Our events will consistently serve the needs of our participants and our sponsors; will engage and reward our volunteers; will enhance the economic well-being of the Pittsburgh region; will partner with public and private entities to create the best possible event experience and partner with appropriate charitable organizations to give back to the community. See more at: http://www.pittsburghmarathon.com/about-us
FACEBOOK: P3Revents TWITTER: @P3REvents

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