by Dennis Dalman
Larry Hosch, former St. Joseph mayor and former Minnesota representative, scored a coup when he placed seventh overall in the 33rd annual Sartell Apple Duathlon on May 23.
He crossed the finish line with a time of 1:26:45. That was only about six minutes behind Apple champion Matthew Payne, 38, of Columbia Heights. The top female winner was Elaine Nelson, 36, of Duluth, who had a time of 1:34:46.
The Sartell Apple Duathlon race involves a 5k run, a 33k biking course and another 5k run.
The competitors last Saturday hailed from cities throughout Minnesota and even from other states. The “Apple” is recognized as one of the best and most efficiently run duathlons in the nation.
For Hosch, 38, it was his third go at the Apple. His finish in the top 10 was especially remarkable because a few years ago Hosch found himself battling a weight problem, and his Apple success is yet another indication he’s not only licked it but has it under control.
Hosch is an employee of the Minnesota Department of Human Services. He and his wife, Holly, have two young boys.
Hosch’s finishing time also nailed a first-place slot for his age division of males 35-39. Another St. Joseph resident, Andrew Zabel, 36, placed third in that division and 20th overall among all runners-bikers.
Another St. Joseph resident who did well in the race was Ivan Schleppenbach, 21, who placed second in the males ages 20-24 division. He placed 53rd overall among the 208 finishers.
Other St. Joseph participants who finished the race were Allie DeLong, 31; and Kevin Kluesner, 58.
The Apple allows for teams to compete, as well as individuals. A co-ed team from St. Joseph, which calls itself Epic GNC, took third place in its division. The team’s members are Greg Koutoupas, who did the two running portions of the race; and Cheri Bates, who did the biking portion.