Scott May of Lyme Center, NH, won the season finale of the Vermont Sun Triathlon Series in Salisbury last week by nearly 10 minutes, in 4:36:55. Megan Fix, of Portland, ME, claimed the wo-mens crown in the grueling 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike and 13.1-mile run, half Vermont Journey triathlon. Her time of 5:13:50 was 22 minutes better than second place finisher Joanna Chaffin of Manlius, NY.
Vermont Sun has held the Vermont Journey for 3 years and for all those years its been held in a heavy rain. For the last 2 years rain has been accompanied by cold. The predicted high was 70 degrees but the thermometer never reached 60.
May, swimming in the first of three waves, posted the days fastest swim, in 26:11.,He exited the warm Lake Dunmore water 1:30 ahead of Ron Jacobs, of South Hadley, MA.
Once on his bike the 38-year-old May didnt let up as he had the best bike time of the day 2:32:19. Forty-six year old Andreas Nolte, of Jericho, VT, used the second fastest bike, 2:34:14, to move into 2nd place after 30 miles on the ride. He had passed 15 riders after finishing the swim in 17th place. Colin Ferguson of Wilder, VT., 5th out of the water, had a strong ride to pull into third.
As the run began Mays lead was 6 minutes. His 1:36:013rd bestrun cemented his win. Jacob Days best 1:33:35 run pulled him past Ferguson and Nolte to claim 2nd in 4:46:31. Nolte held onto 3rd4:51:07with a strong run as Ferguson settled for forth in 4:53:50.
Jessica Holmes of Cornwall, VT, had the fastest female swim time, 29:23, while competing as a member of a team. Fix set herself up with the days second fastest womens swim of 31:04. The next woman was a minute back, Chaffin was nearly 3 minutes behind. Mara Fronhofer, of Argyle, NY, was 3:40 back after the swim. She and Fix had almost identical bike rides as Fronhofer moved into 2nd place as the run began.
Only one woman had a better run than Fix as Fix cruised to victory. Chaffins 2nd place time was 5:35:08. Fronhofer took 3rd in 5:36:35. Mariana Lara Planas, of Colchester, VT, had a great run1:49:50 to Fixs 1:49:04to almost catch Fronhofer and finish 4th in 5:37:06.
Half-Ironman triathlons by their nature draw only the best-trained, serious triathletes. The Journey had athletes attend from all over the East Coast, Canada, California, as well as some from the Midwest. Vermont Sun events usually see about 40% of the field coming from Vermont. The Journey had 20% from Vermont.
Superior local finishes included Middlebury 50-54 age group women Caryn Etherington and Linn Larson. Despite a flat tire on the bike, Etherington took second in the group in 6:14:21 while Larson used a solid swim and bike to finish third, in 6:52:33.
Middleburys Steve Hare had a strong, balanced race, dominating the mens 50-54 group winning in 5:03:29 and placing 11th overall. Pete Solomon of Middlebury took fifth in the mens 45-49 in 5:35:12. Joel Palmer, of Vergennes, celebrated his 43rd birthday by placing tenth in the mens 40-45 group in 6:29:00.
Two Middlebury teams did very well as Townsend/Rosenberg/Carrara won the mens over-40 division, in 4:50:02. Team Holmes/Dayton/Madden won the female team under 39 group, in 5:10:40.
The athletes were supported with aid and refreshments on the bike course by the Middlebury and Vergennes Union High School cross-country teams coached by Chas Lyons (Vergennes) and Noah Hurlburt (Middlebury). The run course had members of Kelly Higgins Middlebury field hockey team handing out food, water and aid at every mile. Race organizers received many post race e-mails from athletes thanking all volunteers for the support, encouragement and aid they received throughout the day.
The volunteers on the bike and run course deserve a great deal of credit. They were absolutely awesome, said racer Julie Dewaele.
The kids energy and enthusiasm at the aid stations was amazing. It made the very difficult conditions easier to handle for the triathletes. We live in a great community, said race director Jerrod Rushton.
The Vermont Journey had many sponsors including local businesses Mr. Ups, the Middlebury Inn, All Occasions Tent Rentals and J.P. Carrara.
For race results and series information see the Ironman website: www.vermontsun.com .