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Injuries don't get the best of Woodstock triathlete

Woodstock triathlete Steve Levickas has been keeping busy since competing in the Ironman World Championship in October 2010. Unfortunately, he spent part of this time recovering from injuries – first a broken finger in November and then a frayed labrum in his shoulder. The latter injury required several months to heal properly and the nasty winter weather provided yet another setback. Steve relished his return to outdoor cycling in April.

In May, Steve competed in the Columbia Triathlon, held at Centennial Lake. This event consisted of a 1.5-kilometer (0.9 miles) swim followed by a 41 km (25.5 miles) bike ride and a 10 km (6.2 miles) run. The break in training evidently did not hold Steve back too much as he finished second out of 180 in his age group (45-49) and 33rd out of 1,630 competitors overall. He also improved his personal record by three minutes, finishing with a time of 2:09:54.

One aspect of the race that Steve really enjoyed was hosting a professional triathlete through a "homestay" program. He was matched with David Kahn, a 70.3 professional ranked 10th in the world. (For those unfamiliar with the terminology, 70.3 refers to the total miles in a half-ironman event – a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile bike ride, and a 13.1 mile run.) The two hit it off and enjoyed talking all weekend about their shared passion in triathlons.

Steve soon had his own shot at a 70.3 event – the Ironman Eagleman Triathlon June 12 in Cambridge. This particular course has very little shade as temperatures reached 90 degrees on race day. Fortunately, Steve tends to perform well in the heat. He set another personal record on the run and experienced his best race yet, finishing fourth out of 172 in his age group and 52nd out of 1,671 competitors overall, with a time of 4:30:41.

Steve is thankful that his wife, Bridget, and parents, Tom and Susan, were able to watch him race in Cambridge, and he credits his coach, Mike Matney, of Fitness Concepts, with the training techniques that have helped him improve his running.

So what's next? Steve's ultimate goal is to return to Kona, Hawaii in October 2012 for the Ironman World Championship. Last year, he entered another race six weeks prior to Kona and believes that exertion somewhat diminished his performance in the championship.

In his quest to make the Ironman World Championship his 'A' race of the year in 2012, Steve has passed up a slot in Kona this year, as well as a slot in the World Championship 70.3 in Las Vegas in September. Instead, he plans to compete in the Ironman Wisconsin Sept. 11 in hopes of winning a 2012 slot to Hawaii. In the meantime, he will continue to train and seek sponsors. Good luck, Steve!

Mexican food is not prolific in the western part of the county, so make sure to mark your calendars for this month's community feast at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church. Smokin' Hot Catering will donate a tasty assortment of Mexican favorites – including desserts – Thursday, July 28 from 6 to 8 p.m. Eat in or carry out; the price is $9 per person or $30 maximum per family.

This month, all proceeds will go toward summer camp scholarships for children in need both locally and in the community served by Church of the Guardian Angel, in Remington. St. Andrew's sister church ministers to a population that is struggling to make ends meet and could use a helping hand.

To learn more about the feast, call Lynne Quinn at 410-442-5445.

This week's Sykesville Concert in the Park features R&B band Triple Shot Friday, July 22 and then next week, Pet Rock will take the stage July 29. Pet Rock is an electric trio with a full band sound, specializing in songs from the early 1960s to today. Check them out online at http://www.mdparty.com/petrock.

All concerts are free and run from 7-9 p.m. at Millard Cooper Park, located a quarter-mile west of Route 32 on Springfield Avenue. Parking is free, too, across the street from Millard Cooper at Sykesville Middle School.

The Sykesville concerts are family-friendly and include ready access to a snack bar and lighted playground; please leave pets and alcohol at home.

On Sunday, July 31, the monthly Sykesville Apple Butter Market will return to South Branch Park. This event takes place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and features live music, children's activities, food, crafts, and more.

South Branch Park lies at the end of West Friendship Road, approximately a half-mile from Route 32.

For more information on activities in historic Sykesville, go to http://www.sykesville.nethttp://www.sykesville.net, call Main Street Manager Ivy Wells at 410-795-8959 or email her at ivy@sykesville.net.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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