By MIKE MALTIAS

The annual ChelanMan Race is becoming more popular with local runners, as evidenced by the half dozen or so who made the trip south last Saturday and Sunday (July 20-21) for the two-day lineup of events.

Dr. Joe Jensen, Kelly Van Bueren, John Spaude, Andy Floyd, Dr. Steve Harrop and Liv Aspholm were among valley athletes who competed in everything from the Olympic Triathlon to the Try A Tri held along the shore of Lake Chelan.

Jensen entered Sunday’s Sprint Triathlon, a mix of 800-meter swim, 13.1-mile bike and 3.1-mile run that he competed in last year.

“Being familiar with the event certainly was a help,” Jensen said. “I beat last year’s time by two minutes.”

Jensen, 68, started out strong in the swim leg, his strongest event, and the time he gained there put him in position to win his 65-69-year-old age group in a time of 1 hour, 27 minutes, 4.1 seconds. Jensen placed 71st among the 331 who finished the sprint.

Harrop, 61, of Winthrop, also entered the Sprint Tri and finished sixth among men 60-64 with a time of 1:58:20.4.

Spaude, 51, finished first among the 50-54 age group and fifth overall in Saturday’s Olympic Triathlon, completing the 1,500-meter swim, 24.8-mile bike and 6.2-mile run in 2:11:59.2.

Andrew Floyd, 37, Twisp, placed 26th in the 35-39 age group in the Olympic Tri in a time of 3:05:48.5. Floyd’s time also put him 294th out of 461 competitors who finished the race.

Twisp’s Kelly Van Bueren entered the Try A Tri last year at the ChelanMan and liked it so much she went back for a second dose last Sunday.

The Try A Tri is just like it sounds, a scaled-down version of the longer Olympic course that features a 400-meter swim, 13.1 bike ride and 3.1-mile run.

“I found a triathlon training schedule and just followed that,” Van Bueren said of her conditioning regimen. “And the cool thing is one of my students competed with me.”

Van Bueren teaches fourth grade at Methow Valley Elementary and when she told her students that she was going to start training at the end of the school year to get in shape for the race, the announcement struck a chord with one of them, Liv Aspholm.

Aspholm started training as well and when the swimmers lined up for the first leg of the Try A Tri, 10-year-old Aspholm was among them. She finished second among girls under 15 with a time just under two hours, 1:57:43.4.

“Biking was the hardest for me,” Aspholm said. “It took forever.”

Van Bueren finished ahead of all the women in her 40-45 age group in a time of 1:31:19.3.

The ChelanMan first started in 2007 when a group of local athletes decided to create a multi-sport weekend that would appeal to every level of athletic ability. The events include Olympic and Half-Iron triathlons, a first-timer triathlon, sprint tri, 10-kilometer and half-marathon runs and a short-distance Splash and Dash for the whole family. All proceeds from the ChelanMan go to Chelan-area nonprofit groups.