Sports

Triathlon wet, uphill but loads of fun

Ryan Montecucco (416) of Seattle finishes the Whidbey Island Triathlon Saturday in a sprint against a team runner.  - Gayle Saran
Ryan Montecucco (416) of Seattle finishes the Whidbey Island Triathlon Saturday in a sprint against a team runner.
— image credit: Gayle Saran

Athletes from all over the Northwest learned last weekend what Whidbey Island runners and bicyclists have always known: The island's roads are not flat.

On Saturday, 243 endurance athletes took up the island's hilly challenge for in the sixth annual Whidbey Island Triathlon.

In addition to a grueling bike ride and run, competitors also got themselves plenty wet and cold with a swim to start things off..

Beginning with an 800-yard swim in Lone Lake, followed by a hilly 19.6-mile bicycle race along Lone Lake, Saratoga, Brooks Hill and Andreason roads and then a 3.8-mile trail and road run through and around South Whidbey Community Park, the triathlon again proved itself to be the toughest test of endurance around.

However, there are a few people who are used to that test.

Langley's Peter Oakley won the race for the third consecutive time, finishing just a few seconds slower than the course-record time he set last year. But his winning time of 1.30:17 was good enough to hold off Oak Harbor triathlete Dan Frost, who was almost three minutes off Oakley's searing pace.

Despite the three-peat, Oakley was modest about his performance.

"I didn't feel like I had a good swim," he said. "I didn't really find my groove until halfway through the bicycle ride, then I was fine."

The race was groovy in other ways. Competitor Brandon Henry of Langley, who placed third in last year's race, was pleased with the event from beginning to end -- even the slightly chilly swim.

"The water temperature was perfect for competition," he said.

Henry was eighth overall this year. Not overly worried about his placing, he said the real beauty of competing in the event was the inspirational value it has for both participants and spectators.

"People come and see what it's like, the competition, the friendships, and the next thing you know someone will start training for one," he said.

This year's edition of the race boasted competition a cut above any previous year. Though South Whidbey's top finishers -- Oakley, Henry and Curt Gordon -- raced to almost the same times they registered last year when they won the top three placings, they couldn't get the sweep again.

"This is becoming a well attended event with a number of elite athletes participating," Gordon said. "It's amazing how much it's grown and the caliber of athlete the event attracts."

One competitor was Chris Farias, the winner of this year's Seafair Triathlon and last year's Whidbey Island Triathlon. But even her seventh-place overall finish was not enough to take the women's division: That honor went to Janelle Baake of Puyallup, who was fifth overall and just a few steps behind Curt Gordon at the finish.

"I didn't catch up with her until the final mile of the run," he said.

Still, Gordon was more amazed with the local competitors than any from off island, especially Oakley, who is one of Gordon's training partners.

"Peter is not human, he is a superman," he said.

The race itself got good reviews as well. Bob Thome of Langley, who placed 35th overall in his third shot at the event, said the race came off without a hitch.

"It's a wonderful, scenic course, very well marked all the way," he said. "Competitors didn't have to use any concentration or thinking about which way to go."

Kevin Andres, a Seattle triathlete, enjoyed the course and also applauded the work of the staff of the South Whidbey Parks and Recreation District, which sponsors the race.

"The bike course was very hilly and challenging. The run was great on the trails," Andres said.

And Donnie Belk of Edmonds will be back next year.

"This was a good course and I am impressed at how well organized it is," he said.

Competitors in the race were split into four divisions: Men, women, teams and the Orcas, a division for men weighing over 200 pounds and women over 150.

Jenny Emsky, a 39-year-old from Fall City who was 47th in Saturday's race, started competing in triathlons in 1995 and won an Ironman competition in 1996.

"I think a triathlon is a great way to test yourself," she said. "It is the essence of being alive. That's what it is all about."

South Whidbey's top three placers, Gordon, Oakley and Henry, are training to compete in Ironman Canada in two weeks.

At that event, they will swim 2.25 miles, bike 112 miles and run 26 miles.

Results of the sixth annual Tri-the-Rock
Here is a complete list of participants in the Tri-the-Rock triathlon. More information, including Split results, is available on the South Whidbey Parks and Recreation District Web site, www.swparks.org/Triathlon/General/Triathlon.htm. Team ages are composite numbers.
1:30:17 1 Peter Oakley, 40, Langley

1:33:03 2 Dan Frost, 34, Oak Harbor

1:33:41 3 David Atik, 30, Seattle

1:34:25 4 Curt Gordon, 45, Freeland

1:34:38 5 Jeremy Breach, 23, Kenmore

1:34:41 6 Kurt Billett, 46, Woodinville

1:34:44 7 Janelle Bakke, 29, Puyallup

1:35:39 8 Brandon Henry, 47, Langley

1:35:41 9 Chris Farias, 37, Seattle

1:36:01 10 Tom Sherry, 40, Keyport

1:36:08 11 Marti Reiss, 33, Clinton

1:37:02 12 David Stonich, 30, Seattle

1:38:43 13 Kevin Andres, 35, Mukilteo

1:39:19 14 Todd Clayton, 39, Port Angeles

1:40:36 15 Darryl Wolfe, 32, Port Angeles

1:40:54 16 Peter Donovan, 27, Sedro-Woolley

1:41:01 17 Dave Spencer, 42, Kirkland

1:41:07 18 Olivier Humbert, 24, Seattle

1:41:17 19 Matt Johnson, 31, Clinton

1:41:31 20 Ryan Brown, 26, Richland

1:42:33 21 Philip Long, 40, Seattle

1:42:35 22 Mike Fairchild, 42, Hilo

1:44:06 23 Bill Wahmuth, 52, Everett

1:44:39 24 Bradley Karvasek, 35, Issaquah

1:44:44 25 Tim Goss, 40, Bainbridge

1:45:01 26 Jim Toye, 43, Mukilteo

1:45:04 27 Kimmer Morris Team, 81, Langley

1:45:06 28 Charley LeWarne, 36, Clinton

1:45:31 29 Jane Vitkuske, 32, Seattle

1:45:33 30 Kurt Johnson, 48, Freeland

1:45:57 31 Jeff Beltramini, 33, Anacortes

1:46:21 32 Sara McGrath, 25, Oak Harbor

1:46:43 33 Harvey Varga, 31, Clinton

1:46:54 34 Rocky Ursino, 33, Bellevue

1:46:55 35 Bob Thome, 47, Langley

1:46:56 36 Pedro Deguzman, 32, Seattle

1:47:30 37 Erik Neumann, 46, Seattle

1:47:53 38 Team Almost Prime, 42, Oak Harbor

1:48:02 39 Joe Plastino, 46, Bothell

1:48:14 40 Peter Emsky, 40, Fall City

1:48:32 41 Josh Carlstrom, 16, Friday Harbor

1:48:38 42 Keith Brewe, 45, Woodinville

1:48:52 43 Stacia McInnes, 34, Bellevue

1:49:30 44 Michelle Turner, 31, Port Angeles

1:49:41 45 Mark Irvine, 46, Bellingham

1:50:01 46 Donnie Belk, 27, Edmonds

1:50:28 47 Jenny Emsky, 39, Fall City

1:50:48 48 Anne Marie Kessler, 27, Seattle

1:51:12 49 Jon Green, 42, Bainbridge

1:51:38 50 Kevin Rindal, 22, Mt. Vernon

1:51:51 51 James Burnham, 32, Oak Harbor

1:52:00 52 Tobin Booth, 29, Seattle

1:52:09 53 Bob Martin, 51, Seattle

1:52:10 54 William Warnekros, 51, Seattle

1:52:25 55 Dave White, Team, 109, Anacortes

1:52:35 56 Jory Phillips, 28, Seattle

1:52:48 57 Eric O'Daffer, 36, Sammamish

1:53:00 58 Patrick Cross, 53, Hillsboro

1:53:03 59 Chuck Cathey, 49, Seattle

1:53:24 60 Dan Silvernail, 36, Portland

1:53:47 61 Rachelle Jensen, 44, Oak Harbor

1:54:03 62 Chad Lukenbill, 28, Coupeville

1:54:07 63 Jerry DiLeonardo, 41, Covington

1:54:09 64 Mark Sargent, 35, Renton

1:54:12 65 Greg Cole, 50, Bainbridge

1:54:16 66 Jean Fankhauser, 136, Clinton

1:54:41 67 Nathan Marion, 24, Mt. Vernon

1:54:50 68 Don Sakaida, 33, North Hills

1:54:58 69 Chris Sander, 21, Seattle

1:55:01 70 Bob Gardner, 55, Everett

1:55:27 71 Dean 43, Friday Harbor

1:55:28 72 Nancy Dahlberg, 41, Mukilteo

1:56:02 73 Matt O'Bryan, 33, Mt. Vernon

1:56:20 74 Karl Jensen, 46, Silverdale

1:56:21 75 Bruce Pence, 42, Seattle

1:56:36 76 Brenda Berry Team, 115, Bainbridge

1:56:46 77 Kathy Cole, 51, Bainbridge

1:56:47 78 Hillary McLaughlin, 31,Redmond

1:56:50 79 Joe Leppert, 53, Longview

1:56:52 80 John Morton, 38, Granite Falls

1:56:54 81 Karey Moriarty, 35, Portland

1:57:02 82 Laurette Lambregts, 31, Seattle

1:57:05 83 Don Wilcox, 65, Bellingham

1:57:06 84 Devin Wesenberg, 13,Port Townsend

1:57:12 85 Collyn Ahart, 20, Friday Harbor

1:57:16 86 Cyndy Holtz, 43, Bainbridge

1:57:18 87 Brent Wesenberg, 45, Port Townsend

1:57:29 88 James Willson, 47, Bellingham

1:57:46 89 Jane Hutchison, 40, Friday Harbor

1:58:11 90 Renee Chmelar, 38, Seattle

1:58:49 91 Brent Grisim, 36, Bothell

1:58:53 92 Nora Masters, 41, Bainbridge

1:58:54 93 Valerie Keller, 32, Langley

1:59:05 94 Andrew McDavid, 18, Auburn

1:59:09 95 Kathy Rogers, 35, Clinton

1:59:35 96 Steve Lowen, 43, Scottsdale

2:00:00 97 Craig Ralstin, 42, Dash Point

2:00:24 98 Russell Sawyer Team,116, Bothell

2:00:29 99 Rick Hill, 44, Clinton

2:00:32 100 Tony Leverman, 27, Vancouver

2:00:44 101 Noel Takasaki, 29, Shoreline

2:00:55 102 Jenny Rabinovich, 25, Seattle

2:01:10 103 James Schrader, 25, Gig Harbor

2:01:18 104 Eric Stelter, 41, Seattle

2:01:47 105 Todd Pacofsky, 31, Coupeville

2:01:52 106 Tim Lane, 44, Seattle

2:01:58 107 Michelle Andres, 35, Mukilteo

2:02:01 108 Jason Boettcher Team, 86, Seattle

2:02:12 109 David Carroll, 31, Seattle

2:02:30 110 Stacy Price, 38, Sedro-Woolley

2:02:41 111 Lance Torgesen, 29, Renton

2:02:42 112 Darin Class, 36, Portland

2:02:51 113 Thomas Breigenzer, 37, Mukilteo

2:02:58 114 Slaed Spiller, 31, Seattle

2:03:31 115 Barbara Rappaport, 49, Bellingham

2:03:34 116 Dianne Rappaport, 49, Bellingham

2:03:35 117 Trif LeBaron, 23, Langley

2:03:56 118 Bob Lindenau, 32, Ft. Wainwright

2:03:58 119 Brent Wendel, 32, Seattle

2:04:05 120 Hunter Hendrickson, 26, Seattle

2:04:19 121 Robin Nelson, 26, Portland

2:04:26 122 Mike Erickson, 4, Friday Harbor

2:04:26 123 Polk Millhon Team, 124, Seattle

2:04:51 124 Charlene Hails, 32, Seattle

2:05:08 125 Phillip Hutchison, 56, Friday Harbor

2:05:13 126 Ryan Montecucco, 31, Seattle

2:05:21 127 Jerry Bush, 37, Lynnwood

2:05:33 128 Kim Hedger, 28, Oak Harbor

2:05:35 129 Brian Bergmaster, 31, Tacoma

2:05:40 130 Melissa Leone, 32, Seattle

2:05:43 131 Dave Howell, 38, Langley

2:05:45 132 Gregory Flynn, 42, Mt. Vernon

2:05:55 133 Shannon Belk, 28, Edmonds

2:06:12 134 Joseph King, 27, Kirkland

2:06:31 135 Bryon Scott, 43, Bellingham

2:06:46 136 Ed Stringer, 28, Langley

2:07:12 137 Tim Zern, 31, Bainbridge

2:07:24 138 Catherine Humbert, 24, Seattle

2:07:29 139 Karen Tuvey, 32, Langley

2:07:37 140 Susan Lipinski, 32, Seattle

2:07:52 141 Robert Buzzo, 50, Olympia

2:07:52 142 Anne Codiga, 35, Seattle

2:08:55 143 Mike O'Brien, 34, Seattle

2:09:39 144 Lisa Adams, 32, Steamboat Springs

2:09:44 145 Shawn O'Donnell, 43, Mukilteo

2:10:13 146 Jo Reeves Team, 133, Seattle

2:10:34 147 Craig Williams, 39, Bainbridge

2:10:51 148 Garth Heitman, 43, Mukilteo

2:10:57 149 Alan Marriner, 44,Friday Harbor

2:11:06 150 Sean Gagne Team, 89, Bellevue

2:11:11 151 Emily Ragee, 24, Seattle

2:11:13 152 Carolyn Stemshorn, 29, Seattle

2:11:24 153 Terri Conger, 120, Auburn

2:11:37 154 Jeff Logue, 43, Everett

2:11:40 155 Brett Perkins, 19, Clinton

2:11:45 156 Karen Damianick, 26, Seattle

2:11:48 157 Austin Lubereski Team, 42, Auburn

2:11:52 158 Jon Markel, 26, Seattle

2:12:02 159 Erin Weber, 33, Kennewick

2:12:17 160 Chris Vogelsberg, 51, Langley

2:12:19 161 Judy Pratt, 47, Bellingham

2:12:28 162 Joseph Shelley, 43

2:13:03 163 Mike Kallberg, 40, Lynnwood

2:13:03 164 Tyler Sullivan, 28, Seattle

2:13:05 165 Ted DeHart, 35, Adna

2:13:21 166 Arlene Taylor, 48, Oak Harbor

2:13:31 167 Glenn O'Rourke, 37, Portland

2:14:10 168 Kate Carruthers, 54, Bainbridge

2:14:45 169 Kim Erickson, 34, Friday Harbor

2:15:02 170 Andy Watts, 25, Seattle

2:15:04 171 Janet Hall Team 140, Freeland

2:15:33 172 Melissa Chaun, 33, Seattle

2:15:44 173 Patti Kerns, 38, Clinton

2:16:12 174 Clara Tanner, 50, Saanichton

2:16:13 175 Malia Mercer, 30, Seattle

2:16:28 176 Steve Torgesen, 58, Sequim

2:16:30 177 Jennifer Jacobi, 33, Seattle

2:16:58 178 Bruce Brereton, 48, Langley

2:17:39 179 Giles Morrish, 112, Seattle

2:18:07 180 Carey Schulte, 40, Portland

2:18:14 181 Albert J. Penta, 62, Monroe

2:18:33 182 Karen Schenking Team, 83, Bellevue

2:18:35 183 May Bloom Team, 87, Seattle

2:18:58 184 Sara Sloper, 25, Seattle

2:19:02 185 Beth Hykes, 30, Seattle

2:19:11 186 Tim Griffin, 30, Seattle

2:19:24 187 Janie Cogen, 23, Seattle

2:20:13 188 Jessica Aguilar, 27, Seattle

2:20:20 189 Matt Hebard, 31, Seattle

2:20:21 190 Kathy Leeper, 30, Seattle

2:20:27 191 Jane Smith, 29, Portland

2:21:02 192 Donna Rosenberg, 38, Kirkland

2:21:11 193 Laura Smith, 26, Seattle

2:21:32 194 Shawn O'Donnell, 13, Mukilteo

2:21:33 195 Lisa Yeager, 34, Seattle

2:22:00 196 Mary Winters, 43, Port Townsend

2:22:06 197 Chris Goss, 39, Seattle

2:22:58 198 Josh Burgess, 33, Seattle

2:23:18 199 Paul Schuller, 45, Clinton

2:23:22 200 Katie Watts, 25, Seattle

2:24:36 201 Kari Wieland, 34, Seattle

2:25:01 202 Margaret Stoermer, 39, Shoreline

2:26:01 203 Jon Pelto, 31, Seattle

2:27:10 204 Cary Chan, 40, Sammamish

2:27:11 205 Lara Bradley, 28, Freeland

2:27:34 206 Charles Shaffer, 42, Seattle

2:27:43 207 Heather Butler, 27, Seattle

2:27:47 208 Stephanie Read, 45, Seattle

2:28:06 209 Amanda Johnsen, 23, Arlington

2:29:05 210 Ryan Brett, 28, Newcastle

2:29:12 211 Marguerite Hauberg, 50, Clinton

2:29:14 212 Rob Durham, 26, Seattle

2:30:01 213 Sunny Worsley, 35, Clinton

2:30:31 214 Donna Sundale, 42, Truckee

2:30:33 215 Betsy Lane, 44, Seattle

2:32:47 216 Nancy Judd, 28, Seattle

2:32:54 217 Margaret Basta, 43, Mukilteo

2:34:32 218 Heather Miller Team, 84, Edmonds

2:35:20 219 Jim Harwell, 61, Clinton

2:36:57 220 Marcia Olmsted, 48, Woodinville

2:37:30 221 Andi Lenoir Team, 90, Freeland

2:39:07 222 Kristi Eager, 29, Langley

2:40:02 223 Michelle Grover, 37, Langley

2:40:22 224 Frank Spady, 34, Shoreline

2:41:21 225 Don Bosse, 52, Austin

2:41:53 226 Jon Dorrough, 29, Mill Creek

2:42:46 227 Brent Johnson, 35, Oak Harbor

2:42:51 228 Nancy McNamar, 46, Bellingham

2:45:07 229 Robby Johnson, 24, Bellevue

2:45:34 230 Molly Dunbar, 25, Silvana

2:45:35 231 LuAnne Carlson, 48, Mount Vernon

2:47:37 232 Betsy Malm, 27, Seattle

2:47:38 233 Fran Stoll, 31, Seattle

2:48:47 234 Eric Berggren, 33, Fairchild AFB

2:50:46 235 Ann E. Frey, 27, Seattle

2:51:25 236 Dawn Dixon, 34, Oak Harbor

3:04:31 237 Patti Quinn, 36, Coupeville

3:04:32 238 Pamela Sprague, 34, Fox Island

3:07:42 239 Randall Dear, 33, Fircrest

3:12:55 240 Annette Moser-Wellman, 43, Bainbridge

3:19:54 241 Dawn Farley, 28, Vancouver

DNF 242 Tina Vesper, 41, Seattle

DNF 243 Matt Hickman, 16, Langley

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