KEESEVILLE The warm, sunny day with a refreshing wind on Sept. 22 was perfect for the spectators at the 9th annual Mountain Lake Services Triathlon. The wind, however, made for a wet and difficult race for the paddlers in canoes and kayaks who started off the event, and no doubt the runners and cyclists would have preferred cooler temperatures.
Mountain Lake Services, which strives to enrich the lives of those with developmental disabilities, their families and our communities, began the event nine years ago with the goal of raising awareness in the community of their Keeseville program.
Another one of things we wanted to do was to create an event that the people we serve could participate in along with the community, said Barb Thomas, director of the Gerald B. Edwards Center.
Any money generated by the event is put into programs like early intervention and preschool services, Dawn McCarthy, recreation coordinator and community staff relations manager, commented.
The inaugural event took place in Port Douglas but was shortly moved to its present location when Pete Gucker, owner of North Country Camps on Augar Lake in Keeseville, offered the use of his camp facilities.
The event is organized by the Keeseville Action Committee, explained Ms. Thomas. Bruce Pricard from Pricards Electric organizes the bike race.
Pricard, Becky Bourgeios from TD Bank North and Dennis Thorton from Agency Insurance, have been on the committee for all nine years, she added.
The Triathlon offered two categories for competition: Recreational, and Ironman. The Recreational division was composed of a 1.5-mile paddle, a 2.5-mile run, and a 13.9-mile bike. The Ironman division required 3.5 miles of paddling, 5.6 miles of running, and 21 miles of cycling. Participants could compete as individuals completing all three parts, or they could team up with others. Many teams and individuals took part in the event from young to old and from serious competitors to those just out to enjoy a day of outdoor activity and support a great organization.
Nine-year-old Madeline Munn, Cliff Haven, was the youngest participant completing the Recreational paddle with her mom and the 2.5-mile run with her older sister.
The run was hot, she commented. The Munns made it a family event with Madelines dad competing in the Mens Ironman Individual race.
There was no shortage of local talent. Among them was Rouses Points Mary Duprey, who easily won the Womens Ironman division, just one week after her record-breaking race at the large and competitive Josh Billings Runaround Triathlon in Massachusetts. Ms. Duprey has competed in many running, cycling and triathlon events throughout the Northeast and rated the cycling course and running course at this event among the toughest because of the number of hills involved.
Local talent also took the Ironman Team event, beating a well-seasoned team from Vermont. Team members were South Plattsburgh veteran paddlers Gordy and Jon Santor in their racing canoe, Saranacs running standout Matt Medeiros, and cycling champion Charlie Mitchell from Dannemora.
Many employees from Mountain Lake Services competed as did several of the people they serve. Joe Therrien and John Piestrzynski, both served by MLS, completed all three parts of the Recreational division. Also served by MLS were Joe Thomas-Train and Michael Harrison who completed the run in the Recreational division as part of a team.
Ive done this before and I really like doing this, said Mr. Harrison with a grin.
It is a lot of fun. I am so proud of myself, he exclaimed with enthusiasm. He showed equal enthusiasm and pride for all of his friends who were participating, and he had plenty of those.
Live music added to the party-like atmosphere of the event. the Hard Cold Sell Band, made up solely by members from the MLS staff and individuals they serve, were set up next to the finish line.
This years event was a success, and MLS extends their gratitude to all the sponsors who helped make it possible: Martindale Keysor & Co., Mineville Oil Corp., North Country Camps, Picards Electrical Service Inc., Loremans, Dr. Debra J. Clark, Security Concepts of NY, Bourgeios IGA, Russell & McCormick, The Kayak Shack, Agency Insurance Brokers Inc., Stewarts Shops and Adirondack Hardware.
The top three finishers in each event:
Iron Individual Men
1st Matt Cook (223.09)
2nd Allen Mead (223.54)
3rd Richard Munn (241.17)
Iron Individual Women
1st Mary Duprey (226.00)
2nd Andrea Vogl (250.22)
3rd Devlin Jeepers (325.00)
Recreational Individual Men
1st Chris Grant (129.29)
2nd George Disney (136.02)
3rd Joe Therrien (219.08)
Recreational Individual Women
1st Mary Lou Thompson (127.00)
2nd Lora Grant (155.50)
3rd Joi Larucci (200.12)
1st Gordy and Jon Santor, Matt Medeiros and Charlie Mitchell (157.22)
2nd Jamie Wilkey, Peter Kahn and Dave Miller (207.12)
3rd Don Evans, Jeremy Evans and Scott Woodward (208.40)
1st Dawn McCarthy, Katie Tyler, Pam Sayward and Cara Goodman (124.43)
2nd Cathy Drollette, Joe Thomas-Train and Thomas Kirsh (132.32)
3rd Michael Karp, Donna Jerdo and Melissa Newell (143.41)