Islanders tops in San Juan triathlon

South Whidbey triathletes swept most of the top awards and stunned a small crowd Saturday at the sixth annual John Pettingill Triathlon on San Juan Island.

Curt Gordon and Marti Reiss, both Clinton residents, won the men's and women's divisions at the race, while Langley's Brandon Henry was fourth overall.

Two other islanders, Freeland's Curt Johnson and Langley resident Bob Thome, also competed in the race.

Gordon, an Ironman Canada veteran who is training this summer for an attempt to qualify for Ironman Hawaii, won last weekend's race in 1 hour, 53 minutes and 42 seconds, beating out the second-place finisher by just 20 seconds.

On a course that included a half-mile swim, a 23-mile bike ride and a 5.2-mile run, Gordon, who turned 45 this year, set the third-fastest bicycling time and second-fastest run time to move to the front of race.

Late in the run, he caught a bit of a break when the race leader made a wrong turn. That put Gordon in the lead for good.

The placing was his best at the race. In 2000, he took sixth overall behind fellow islanders Matt Johnson and Peter Oakley.

In the race for the women's championship, Reiss was the leader from beginning to end. She had the race's fastest swim, bike and run among women competitors and finished with a time of 1:59:38.

Also a top finisher, Henry stayed close to the leaders even though he has done little running over the past few months. His finish time of 1:57:43 was fast enough for fourth place.

Kurt Johnson finished the race in 2:09:30, while Bob Thome crossed the line in 2:16:40.

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