Sports

Triathletes eat it up at Tri the Cookie

Taking on Western Washington’s first major triathlon date of 2004, three Whidbey Island triathletes notched some of the finest performances Sunday seen on the West Coast this season.

Racing in the Baker’s Breakfast Cooking International Triathlon, AKA “Tri the Cookie,” Freeland residents Marti Riemer-Reiss and Curt Gordon won their age groups in the national championship qualifier, while grandmaster women’s triathlete Pat Buchanan was a top-three finisher in her division.

In terms of an overall finish, Riemer-Reiss was at the head of the South Whidbey pack, placing fourth overall on the women’s side, finishing the 1 kilometer swim, 40K bike ride and 10K run in two hours, 14 minutes and 55 seconds. The women’s race winner, Christine Fletcher of Vancouver, finished in 2:12:46.

Riemer-Reiss, who competed at the same distance at both the U.S. national championship and world championship last year, won the 35-39 division, gapping the next closest finisher by almost seven minutes.

Though she lost a good deal of time when her wet suit unzipped during the swim, Riemer-Reiss said she was pleased with her result.

“I’m really psyched where my fitness is,” she said.

Gordon, an Ironman-distance triathlete, raced Tri the Cookie as part of his warm up to next month’s Ironman race in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Though well back of race winner Brian Cadman’s 1:57:14 finish, Gordon’s 2:15:11 human-powered tour of Bellingham’s waters and roads placed him just ahead of training partner Jim Hanson of Mukilteo in the 45-49 age group.

Out on the course, Gordon recovered from being the 11th swimmer out of Bellingham’s Lake Whatcom to race to the fastest bike and run times in his division, including a 38:14 10K run.

In the female grandmasters race, 54-year-old Pat Buchanan started her Northwest racing season with a top-three finish, covering the Tri the Cookie course in 2:48:15, less than eight minutes behind division winner Sandi Wiebe of Vancouver. Buchanan was a competitor at last year’s U.S. national championship.

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