By Sam Conner
Winslow athlete Jolene Wilkenson, representing the United States Air Force, was a winner in the women’s triathlon at the Lausanne Triathlon held in late August in Switzerland. The event was the 17th Military Cisim Triathlon.
Wilkenson’s mother, Ellen Pfulb, attended the event, and enjoyed seeing her daughter run, swim and bike to victory. Pfulb wrote the following regarding this memorable event.
“Yes, I got the thrill of my life…Eighteen nations participated…The women raced in the morning and the men in the afternoon. It was the most beautiful venue. The participants marched in on a high ramp and down on the pier where they jumped into the water (of Lake Geneva) before the start. The U.S. was the first nation in the lineup. Jolene led them (I guess because her bib number was 1). Oh, Jolene raced as a master, which means older athletes. They don’t always have that category, so I was surprised.
“They did two loops on the swim. Then there were eight loops on the bike through the town. On part of the loop, they climbed a steep hill. Jolene always has liked hills. Maybe this is from her time in Prescott at the junior college. Fi-nally, the run was four loops.
“Jolene was the first U.S. woman in and did win the gold for the U.S. At the award ceremony they had an elevated stage with the three circles for the top three. Down below the flags of the three winners were raised. Of course the U.S. flag was the highest. They had a live band that played the National Anthem. That was pretty emotional…It was indeed a wonderful, amazing day.”
Wilkenson has been a successful athlete all of her life, and has been especially successful in her career as a triathlon racer for the Air Force. She has performed in many locations, including Rio de Janario recently, always with consider-able success. She was an excellent gymnast at Winslow High School when the school had such a program.
By Sam Conner