Several of the participants are in green, along with some volunteers.

By Mary McDaniel

The Phillies’ season is effectively deader than the Soviet Union and the Eagles are in their second training camp at the NovaCare Center in South Philly.

So, what could possibly fill the August sports void for athletes and volunteers of upper Bucks County, near where the Birds once trained at Lehigh?

How about the 4th annual Steelman Triathlon?

On Sunday morning, approximately 1,000 ultra-athletes — supported by hundreds of volunteers — took to the course in Quakertown’s Nockamixon State Park to participate in the Steelman Triathlon, which offered the athletes a variety of race configurations:

The Sprint event involving a 800-yard swim, a 12.8 mile bike ride and finishing with a 3.1 mile run. The Olympic event is double that distance. Athletes could also choose Aqua-Bike, or to compete as part of a relay team.

Brian Lovett, age 39 from Allentown, won the overall Elite Male Olympic Triathlon with a total time of 2:01:46, with a swim time of 18:50, biking 1:03:04 and running 37:14. Second place went to Jason Roth, age 26 from Mount Joy with an overall time of 2:11:05.  Ephrata’s David Rude came in third, finishing the course in 2:13:33.

The Elite Female Olympic Triathlon first place went to Nancy Smith of New Britain who finished the course in two hours, 20 minutes. She completed the swim in 22:16, the bike in 1:11:24 and the run in 43:07.

The Steelman Triathlon is a USA Triathlon-sanctioned event, as was the Philadelphia Triathon Club’s sponsored Johnson & Johnson TriRock Philadelphia Triathlon held June 21-22. Next up for the TriRock series will be the 2nd Annual TriRock Asbury Park on August 24.

The Steelman benefits Make-A-Wish Foundation of Philadelphia and Susquehanna Valley and is championed by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Sponsors included HighRoad Cycles, Make-A-Wish, Premise Maid, Nockamixon Sail Club, RoadID, Runner’s World, Bethlehem Pre-Cast Inc., Endless Pools Swimming Machines, xterra Wetsuits and L. L. Bean.