For years, Aliso Viejo's Brent Lorenzen thought he could be a pretty decent triathlete. Saturday, he proved it--and then some--by finishing 12th overall in his first Ironman race.
Lorenzen started serious triathlon training this year. Before Sunday's Ironman Florida at Panama City, he had never run a marathon, much less adding the 2.4-mile swim and 112-mile bicycle ride required in an Ironman race.
Swimming didn't figure to be a problem: Lorenzen is an assistant coach with the Irvine Novaquatics and was an All-Ivy League swimmer at Harvard.
But surprisingly, after exiting the water in seventh place, Lorenzen hung tough with many of the professionals during the bike leg, moving up to fifth overall with about 30 miles to go.
As he expected, Lorenzen went into survival mode during the run, finishing the marathon in 3 hours 29 minutes. That left the 28-year-old with an overall time of 9:16:30, good for second in his age group and a qualifying spot in next year's Hawaii Ironman.
"Now, of course, I wish I would have got off my butt and got started on this thing earlier," Lorenzen said. "It's fun and if I can get to the point where I'm at a really high level I would obviously enjoy that, but we'll have to see what happens."
Lorenzen was one of 13 Orange County residents among the 1,515 official finishers at the Ironman Florida. Kirk Waymire, a 41-year-old from Trabuco Canyon, finished in 10:29:09, 185th overall and first in the Clydesdale division for athletes over 200 pounds. Dave Buffington, 46, of Santa Ana Heights, finished in 10:36:29, 210th overall.
The other Orange County finishers: David Bartis (Huntington Beach, 11:07:05), Rebecca Bartis (Huntington Beach, 11:17:06), Gregg Clark (Huntington Beach, 12:20:22), Belinda Eschenwald (Trabuco Canyon, 12:26:34), Thomas Schmierer (Newport Beach, 13:53:50), James Bader (Huntington Beach, 14:43:54), Mark Jewett (Irvine, 14:52:59), Cristina Gibson (Newport Beach, 16:02:23), Stephen Gibson (Newport Beach, 16:02:23) and David Donaldson (Corona del Mar, 16:37:59).
Despite Sunday's Long Beach Marathon, the California Paralyzed Veterans Assn. picked Saturday to hold its running event for a simple reason: it's Veterans Day.
The event features a 5K run, a 5K walk, a 10K and 10K wheelchair and handcycle races and the races will be run entirely on the grounds of the Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station. More information: (714) 841-5417.
Misty May and Holly McPeak won the final FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour event Sunday in Brazil. May, a former Newport Harbor High and Long Beach State standout, and McPeak defeated Brazilians Sandra Pires and Adriana Samuel, 21-16, 21-12, in the final.
Australia's Layne Beachley clinched her third consecutive women's Assn. of Surfing Professionals world championship Monday at Honolua Bay on Maui.