About Us

In 2008, Wally Purdun had a vision for an event that would bring a community together.  A sprint triathlon would give people a fitness goal to work toward, it would allow tourists to see our beautiful city, and the proceeds could go to a good cause.  At the time, the Phillips Area Aquatic Foundation was sought out as a possible beneficiary of the race, and a number of volunteers emerged from that group to create that year's race.


Since then, the Phillips Chain of Lakes Triathlon (PCoLT) has grown.  In 2009 we added a children's race, which in the following year was adapted to the free steeple chase still offered today.  PCoLT has obtained 503(c) status, and adopted the mission, "To present a well organized event that supports the Phillips Community organizations that promote a healthy lifestyle."  


Tim Popp, President

The glue that keeps the group together, Tim Popp is our President.  When not conducting meetings and orchestrating the finer details of the race, Tim is otherwise enjoying retirement after a successful career with the local School District as a speech pathlogist.  Depending on the season, Tim can be found on the golf course, tapping the maple trees, or grooming the local cross country ski trails. 

Malia Polacek, Registration Guru

Malia Polacek is busy ensuring your experience with our triathlon meets all expectations!  Malia loves to bike and run, and can often be found at the local pool where she enjoys lifeguarding.  Her two active teenagers keep her engaged in many organizations, including the Price County 4H.  The Polacek family operates an implement company in town, and Malia is also a pharmacy technician. 

Joe Coyle, Course Director

Joe creates the bike route, maps our routes for the web site, and does other various duties for the tri.  Joe’s interests include volunteering at the Phillips Snow Shoe Flurry, Hayward Birkebeiner, lots of bike riding in northern Wisconsin, spending time at the cabin in the Hayward area with his family, spring and fall fishing, and gathering wild rice. Joe is employed at Price County Telephone Company.

Adam Speer, Volunteer Coordinator

An essential piece of the team, Adam Speer coordinates all the volunteers which are so integral to making this event a success, and handles many behind-the-scenes decisions.  Adam is an avid supporter of area athletics, serving as President of the Phillips Area Aquatic Foundation, and, with his wife Kristi, is active with the Phillips Flurry and the Girls Cross Country team.  Professionally, Adam is one of the area's best realtors, with his finger on the pulse of the market.

Annie Knudson, Communications Maven

Recording minutes and making agendas are Annie Knudson's best contributions to PCoLT.  Annie is otherwise likely chasing her three young children with the partnership of her husband - or more likely, the boys are chasing them!

Wally Purdun, Honorary Member

Although Wally Purdun's position with a major phone company recently resulted in a move out of the area, Wally still contributes significantly to PCoLT.  Besides being our southern ambassador, Wally connects us with the people that keep our legal obligations in order.  When Wally isn't concentrating on his work or this race, he can be found on his bicycle, or visiting with his children and grandchildren.  Sometimes he even makes it back up north!