First triathlon a suc­cess

Event draws 600 com­peti­tors

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By MICHAEL REID mreid@somd­ Twit­ter: @SOMDhab­s­fan

Be­cause he had raced a full-length triathlon the pre­vi­ous week­end, Si­mon Richard­son fig­ured it would be wise to race the sprint por­tion of the Vir­ginia-Mary­land Triathlon Se­ries on June17 at St. Mary’s Col­lege of Mary­land.

“I did the sprint be­cause weather was hu­mid and I wasn’t at my peak fit­ness level,” Richard­son said, “so [I fig­ured the] sprint was the best bet to reach the podium.” Good choice. The 54-year-old Patux­ent River Naval Air Sta­tion con­tract en­gi­neer fin­ished the triathlon in 1 hour 16 min­utes 25 sec­onds to take sev­enth place over­all and third in the men’s top mas­ters. Scott McLallen of Alexan­dria, Va., won the di­vi­sion with a time of 1:14:13 and Bill Deaton of Ruck­ersville, Va., grabbed sec­ond in 1:15:02.

This year was the first that the col­lege had hosted the event, which fea­tured 600 athletes tak­ing part in the in­ter­na­tional di­vi­sion, which con­sists of a 1 1/2-kilo­me­ter swim fol­lowed by a 24.5-mile bike race and con­clud­ing with a 5-kilo­me­ter run. The sprint di­vi­sion is half those dis­tances.

The event is the 12th of 26 this sea­son. The sea­son started with the Smith­field Sprint in Smith­field, Va., and will con­clude Oct. 14 with the Lib­erty (Va.) Univer­sity In­vi­ta­tional. Charles County hosted the VMTS Gen­eral Small­wood In­vi­ta­tional and Sprint May 20 and 21 in In­dian Head.

“I had a su­per fast tran­si­tion [fol­low­ing the swim],” said Richard­son, who elected to ride in his wet­suit. “I took my time [dur­ing the bike phase] and paced my­self up the hill be­cause I know the course. I had a head­wind on the back side and was able to go more than 20 [mph]. A quick change and then out on the run, and a mile out I caught up to a guy and kept pace with him. Then at the end I gave it ev­ery­thing I got be­cause it’s all out. I’m very pleased.”

Michael Ju­lian, a swim coach from Mid­loth­ian, Va., fol­lowed the same strat­egy as Richard­son.

“I did the Jamestown race last week­end so do­ing the sprint and half the dis­tance this weeks sounded good,” said Ju­lian, who fin­ished sec­ond over­all in 1:11:17. “I was a bit wor­ried about the jel­ly­fish, but I’ve lubed up with Vase­line and I’m a for­mer swim­mer, so I was ready for the swim and the bike course was good. It was flat and pretty fast, so I just had to hold on for the run.”

“I got stung so many times that my arms were start­ing to go woozy,” said Michael Bouchard-Hadley, a ris­ing sopho­more at St. Charles High School who fin­ished sec­ond in the male 16- to 19-year-old age group in 1:29:55, “but I pushed my­self through it and got to the run. No big­gie.”

Sun­der­land res­i­dent John Balazs, 49, who works in fi­nan­cial ser­vices, said “there were a lot of jel­ly­fish in the wa­ter. The wa­ter was calm and warm, but get­ting out af­ter and feel­ing my face burn­ing, that was tough. But I gave it ev­ery­thing I had.”

Emma Gon­za­lez, a 33-year-old Wash­ing­ton, D.C., po­lice of­fi­cer who lives in White Plains and fin­ished in 1:39:12, said the net­tles weren’t ter­ri­ble.

“The jel­ly­fish was the hard­est part be­cause I’ve never swam in [salt wa­ter] be­fore and they hurt, but I thought they would be more painful. It wasn’t too bad,” Gon­za­lez said.

Top fin­ish­ers

Jeremy Beall of Crofton won the over­all sprint di­vi­sion (1:08:23), while Stephen Eid of Ash­burn, Va. took the over­all in­ter­na­tional di­vi­sion (2:17:20).

In sprint re­sults, Cal­i­for­nia’s Matt McOm­ber (1:29:49) took first place in the Mas­ter Cly­des­dale di­vi­sion, Jeremy Reid of St. Leonard (1:19:26) took top hon­ors in the 4044 age group and David Kung of Lex­ing­ton Park (1:21:01) claimed the 4549 age group, just 1 minute 59 sec­onds ahead of run­ner-up Jim Foote of Wal­dorf.

“It was ad­ven­tur­ous,” said Foote, a sales­man for Cen­tral Whole­salers. “I got stung by jel­ly­fish but the swim wasn’t too bad, there was no chop at all. I put my shoes down there [near the river] so I could run up to the [bike] tran­si­tion and it was muggy so the run was hot.”

“I’m not a good biker, so that was chal­leng­ing for me,” said Balazs, who fin­ished in 1:32:20 in just his sec­ond triathlon. “There were some hills that peo­ple prob­a­bly just jumped up that I strug­gled with but the run was nice and flat and shady.”

Cole Edge of Me­chan­icsville (1:53:47) was fifth in the 16-19 age group.

“That took a lit­tle too long be­cause I run bare­foot,” Bouchard-Hadley said of the up­hill tran­si­tion to the bike phase, though he wore ten­nis shoes on his run. “My feet are fine. They’re all cal­loused so if I lose a shoe, I’ll keep go­ing. To­ward the end, I just kept push­ing my­self and said, ‘I’m al­most there, I’m al­most there.’”

Roland Edge of Me­chan­icsville (1:34:47) placed third in the 20-24 age group and Charles Con­rad of Wal­dorf (1:26:56) was fifth in the 40-44 di­vi­sion.

“It’s a great venue, noth­ing beats St. Mar y’s County,” said Hunt­ing­town banker Doug Na­has, who was sixth in the 40-44 di­vi­sion, de­spite com­pet­ing with two bro­ken ribs. “The wa­ter was good, the bike was nice and flat and the run was good. It’s a re­ally good course.”

Ryan Ca­masso of Cal­i­for­nia (1:51:24, mil­i­tary males) and Jor­dan Price of Saint Ini­goes (1:40:29, novice males) each placed fifth in their re­spec­tive di­vi­sions.

In the in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion, Leonard­town’s Michael Kirby (2:37:24) claimed top spot in the 4044 age group, while John Kopicko of Ridge was run­ner-up in 2:38:52.

Shawn Kyle of Hunt­ing­town won the dis­qual­i­fied athletes di­vi­sion (2:20:56) while Lusby’s Thomas Fisher (no time avail­able) took fourth in the same cat­e­gory.

Other top-5 fin­ish­ers in­cluded run­ner-ups Ron Mor­ris of Lex­ing­ton Park (50-54, 2:39:22) and Lex­ing­ton Park’s Karl Ul­ma­nis (aquabike, 1:55:10), fourth-place fin­ish­ers Jean-Luc LeClerc of Lusby (20-24, 3:30:48), Lex­ing­ton Park’s Robert Fritz (55-59, 2:52:58) and Wel­come’s Brian Boyle (3034, 2:38:39). Lex­ing­ton Park’s Kee­len Grimm (2529, 2:50:39), Wel­come’s Gabriel Mur­ray (30-34, 2:39:20) and Ray­mond Hoff­man (35-39, 2:37:37) each placed fifth.

The women more than held their own in the sprint di­vi­sion as Su­san Ess­ing­ton of Hol­ly­wood (2:34:06) won the 65-69 age group, while San­dra Leitner of Solomons (1:06:02) took top hon­ors in the aquabike cat­e­gory.

Cathy Friedel of Solomons (1:21:07, top fe­male), Lisa Sul­li­van of Hol­ly­wood (1:37:02, mil­i­tary) and Tammy Cook of Owings (1:37:44, dis­qual­i­fied di­vi­sion) each fin­ished sec­ond in their re­spec­tive di­vi­sion.

De­bra Spatz of St. Leonard (1:28:06) grabbed third place in the top mas­ters.

In age group place­ments, Jen­nifer Long of Cal­i­for­nia was sec­ond in the 55-59 class when she clocked 1:32:17.

“The wa­ter was full of jel­ly­fish, so I have welts,” said Long, who has com­peted in more than 200 triathlons. “But the bike course was great. It was flat and there was a lit­tle bit of wind but it was good. The hard­est for me is al­ways the run. It’s awe­some [to have the race here]. It’s fan­tas­tic, ev­ery­one will want to be at this race year af­ter year.”

In age group re­sults, Nancy Ahearn of Leonard­town was sec­ond in the 40-44 age group when she clocked 1:39:52. Meg Romero of La Plata (1:41:58) was fourth.

“The swim was the tough­est. I got stung sev­eral times, but it’s not that bad, but I thought [my bike por­tion] was strong,” said Sharene Gor­don, 41, a phys­i­cal ther­a­pist from Hunt­ing­town, who was 10th in the 40-44 age group in 1:55:10. “I think it’s a very nice course, es­pe­cially for be­gin­ners. It’s flat and it’s chal­leng­ing, but not too chal­leng­ing. If you pre­pare it’s fine.”

Kristin Swift of St. Mary’s City (1:31:16, 4549) and Na­dine Hughes of Lusby (2:13:41, 60-64) each added third-place fin­ishes.

“It was awe­some,” said Gon­za­lez, who placed sixth in the 30-34 age group in 1:39:12. “I trained for it and did well. The [bike course] was a lit­tle hilly; I thought it was com­pletely flat but its a good race and I felt good.”

In in­ter­na­tional re­sults, Hilary Grimm of Lex­ing­ton Park won the 2529 age group in 2:45:02, while Wal­dorf’s Ann Gra­ham was fifth (3:02:11).

Other top-5 fin­ish­ers in­clude run­ner-up Kirsten Coe of Lex­ing­ton Park (35-39, 2:44:03) and third­place fin­ish­ers Amy Pavis of Leonard­town (novice, 3:02:55) and Kathy Sharkey of Solomons (aquabike, 2:03:27).

Charles Con­rad of Wal­dorf, pic­tured here pre­par­ing for the bike stage, was fifth in the men’s 40-44 age group at June 17’s Vir­ginia-Mary­land Triathlon Se­ries event at St. Mary’s Col­lege of Mary­land with a time of 1 hour 26 min­utes 56 sec­onds.


La Plata’s Meg Romero was fourth in the sprint di­vi­sion’s women’s 40-44 age group at June 17’s Vir­ginia-Mary­land Triathlon Se­ries event at St. Mary’s Col­lege of Mary­land with a time of 1 hour 41 min­utes 58 sec­onds.

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