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National Senior Games: Family members to reunite, compete in triathlon relay

Marathon pioneer Kathrine Switzer, right and teammate Rosy Spraker catch their breath after crossing the finish line in the 5K run of the National Senior Games held at Balloon Fiesta Park. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)

One of the pioneers of distance running graced the streets of Albuquerque on Friday morning.

Seventy-two-year old Kathrine Switzer, was the first woman to run the Boston Marathon as a registered entrant in 1967 before leading a crusade for women’s running and getting the marathon admitted into the Olympic Games.

On Friday, she clocked a time of 30 minutes, 15 seconds in the women’s 5-kilometer road race at Balloon Fiesta Park.

That was good for fifth out of the 30 racers in the 70-74 age division, which was won by Jane Treleven, 70, of Gig Harbor, Wash., with a time of 22:59.

According to the NSGA website under records, Treleven’s time would shatter the previous 70-74 division mark of 24:08 set in 1997. The Games oifficials had not yet verified any records from the event as of Friday night.

The 10K road race – men’s and women’s – will be Sunday at 7:30 a.m. at the National Hispanic Cultural Center with a shuttle from the athlete village (at Albuquerque Convention Center) running back and forth to the event’s staging area from 6 a.m. until 7:10 a.m. The shuttle then will resume for rides back between 10:30 a.m. and noon.

FAMILY REUNION: There will be at least three sibling act teams in Saturday morning’s triathlon relay event at Cochiti Lake.

Three daughters, two sons and a son-in-law of Senior Games athlete Marion Lisehora will be making up the three-member 55-plus Sister Act relay team and the three member 55-plus Brother Act team. The family decided to use the Games as a reason for a family reunion vacation in Albuquerque. Members are converging on New Mexico from from Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Hawaii.

“We take our mother on a vacation every year, and we had talked about a family reunion in Florida with the five kids and family members,” Barbara Lisehora Markelz said in an article posted online as part of the NSGA.com’s feature series, The Games Daily.

“With mom, myself, and Diane competing in The Games, and Jim driving mom, I had an idea that it would be very cool to make the family vacation in Albuquerque. Then, with this open event available, we thought why don’t we compete as a family?”

This is the first time the triathlon relay is a part of the Senior Games.

The other team of siblings will be sisters on the “Jo’s Girls” team with Jane Taylor of Ohio, Mary Ann White of Utah and Patty White of Massachusetts.

RECORD WATCH: On Thursday’s final day of track events, there were seven NSG records set in 4×100 relay races – five on the women’s side and two by men’s teams.

MEDAL COUNT: As of Friday’s latest update, California continues to lead the gold and overall medal count race for the 2019 National Senior Games, credited thus far with 412 medals, 183 of which are gold.

New Mexico, with the largest representation by state of athletes at these Games, checks in at No. 2 overall with 314 medals with Texas third and Florida tied for third at 270. Texas’ 120 golds are second most with New Mexico’s 98 coming in third so far.

WHAT TO WATCH TODAY: In addition to the triathlon and triathlon relays at Cochiti Lake, both one-day events, medals will be handed out for some archery events on that sport’s final day of competition in the 2019 Games.

The triathlon starts at 7:30 a.m. and includes 400-meter open water swimming, a 20-kilometer cycling portion and a 5-kilometer road race to finish.

Archery wraps up with barebow events at 9 a.m.

Among New Mexicans, Beatrice Lente (archery women’s ages 65-69 compound), Charles McDonald (men’ 65-69, barebow compound) and Stella Webster (women’s B0-84, barebow recurve, 80-84) are former gold medalists back to try to get another.

Other top New Mexican athletes competing today include Ron Angst and Ron Aragon in men’s softball, Kent Blair in the Ttiathlon, Katherine Dolce, Alberta Lente, and Jose Martinez in shuffleboard, Richard Harrison in pickleball, and Mary Homan in Archery.

Admission to all events is free. More information, including results and schedules and news, can be found at the Games’ website (NSGA.com).

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