News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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May 22, 2010

Retired pro Lessing wins 25th Terre Haute triathlon

Terre Haute North grads Dason, Depasse finish in top 10

TERRE HAUTE — The 25th anniversary of the Terre Haute Triathlon was a special day at Hawthorn Park thanks to the winning performance from one of the sport’s great Olympic Distance triathletes, Simon Lessing, who had averaged 5 minute, 35 seconds per mile on the 8-kilometer run to pull away for the victory.

Two Terre Haute natives also cracked the top 10 in great racing conditions Saturday on the course, which consists of an 800-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike ride and an 8-kilometer run.

Former Terre Haute North swimmer and runner Nick Dason — also a former standout triathlete at West Point — was fifth overall.

Current Indiana University student Kevin Depasse, also a former North runner, was 10th overall, in just his third triathlon. The junior at IU was second in his age group of 20-24.

“I’m loving it. Hoping to do more [triathlons], especially when I’m done with school,” Depasse said. “The longer Ironman events would be fun.”

Depasse ran well despite being diagnosed with a stress fracture in his foot about a week ago.

“I hadn’t run at all the last five days or so,” he said.

Lessing, a 39-year-old who retired in 2008 from a grueling professional regimen of training that began when he was 18, decided to make a short tour of races in 2010. Lessing won four world titles in the Olympic distance (1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike, 10K run) during the 1990s.

“I’ve just been doing little workouts to stay fit,” said the native South African who competed for Great Britain in the 2000 Summer Olympics, finishing ninth. “The swim was my strongest but that’s my original background. I really got rolling on the run.”

Lessing enjoyed his experience in Terre Haute, while also praising how well the event is organized and administered.

“I had never seen this part of the country, it’s very nice,” he said.

Lessing lives in Boulder, Colo. — he also mentioned the benefits of training at altitude — and runs a coaching business for triathletes and runners.

Terre Haute’s Kris Fitzgerald also had a strong finish in the top 25.

Times and further results were not made available at press time.        

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