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Triple unity

Two cities plus one base equals Triple Threat

Two future triathletes hold a Cervelo P3 Triathlon bike, the grand prize for the Triple Threat Triathlseries. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

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Sports are a unifying concept.

Just ask the cities of Lacey and Lakewood and their big neighbor Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Beginning with this past weekend's Black Hills Triathlon in Lacey, competitors from around the Puget Sound area competed in the first leg of a triple triathlon threat.

Let's set the table about triathlons.

For the first time since the mid-1990s, when triathlons were first held, the cities of Lacey and Lakewood are partnering with JBLM to broaden the appeal of the triple threat.

Credit for the past and these present triathlons is due to Minerva Hohala.

"She was the original race director for JBLM," wrote Lizza Lockett, a spokesperson for the triathlons, in an email.

Lockett, a former Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) employee, founded the Triple Threat competition at JBLM more than 20 years ago.

"She was very dedicated in executing fun, challenging and safe events," Lockett added.

Cancer claimed Hohala in early February of this year.

"I find it very fitting that they are bringing the series back this year," wrote Tara Long in an email. "This seems to be a good honor to her."

The honoring of Hohala has begun.

Specifically, this past weekend, the first of the three triathlons, a sprint triathlon, was held in Lacey.

A "sprint triathlon" is one where competitors swim 750 meters, bike 20 kilometers and run five kilometers.

A second sprint triathlon will be held as part of the city of Lakewood's 4th annual Summer Fest activities Saturday, July 11.

This triathlon is a USA Triathlon (USAT)-sanctioned competition and will consist of a ½ mile at American Lake Park, a 14-mile bike course through Lakewood, Steilacoom and JBLM, and a 3.1-mile run through Fort Steilacoom Park.

For more information about this event, visit

The third triathlon - the JBLM Deuces Wild Triathlon - is an "Olympic triathlon" and will be held at JBLM Aug. 29 at American Lake in Shoreline Park.  The bike ride and the run will be on JBLM.

This is a non-sanctioned USAT triathlon.

An Olympic triathlon is a challenging 1,500-meter swim, 25-mile bike ride and a 10K run. There will be a sprint triathlon as well.

For more information about this leg of the Triple Threat, visit

The overall winner of the three triathlons will receive a Cervelo P3 Triathlon bike worth $5,000.

"The motivation was and still is to provide challenging race events for JBLM and the surrounding communities," concluded Lockett.

Hohala will be honored.

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