Nickel 9th in long course triathlon

Kevin Nickel shows the form that led to a first-place finish in his age group in the ITU World’s Long Course Triathlon in Oklahoma City Sept. 24.Goessel High School and Tabor College product Kevin Nickel earned a first-place finish in the 35-39 age group at the ITU World’s Long Course Triathlon in Oklahoma City Sept. 24.

The 95.63 mile international event included a 2.48 mile swim, a 74.52 mile bike ride and an 18.63 mile run.

After the swim, Nickel was in seventh place in his age group.

“This was probably the most difficult swim I’d done in 10 years of racing,” Nickel said. “The wind made for very choppy waters, and it was also the longest distance I had raced.”

Nickel completed the biking portion of the event in 3 hours, 23 minutes, 52 seconds and trailed the lead competitor by 11 seconds.

Nickel crossed the finish line after a 2:27:51 run, more than seven minutes ahead of the nearest competitor in his age group.

Overall, Nickel finished ninth of 267 male competitors with a time of 7:19:43.

“This is the best finish I have had at this distance,” Nickel said. “My hopes for a top-five finish were adjusted after taking a spill on my bike training for this distance two weeks before the race. I had to heal from a hip bruise, but I was pleased with the way things went.”

Nickel trains in the Newton and Hesston area and is sponsored by Pinnacle Sports Performance, Bicycle X-Change, Eddie U. Massage Clinic and First Gear Running Company.

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