Ryea, Rakel win triathlon prizes

MIDDLEBURY The Lake Dunmore olympic distance triathlon was won by 30-year-old Justin Ryea of Burlington in 2:09:10. Kathy Rakel, age 24, of Arizona claimed the womens crown in 2:24:27. The event was held Saturday at Branbury State Park in Salisbury and was the third event in the four race Vermont Sun Triathlon Series. The worlds best triathletes will compete in the Olympic triathlon to be held in China. The swim is 1,500 meters (.9 miles), 40 kilometers of biking (just under 25 milesLake Dunmore used a 28-mile bike course) and a 10-kilometer run (6.2 miles). The Lake Dunmore Triathlon was the Vermont Qualifier for the Best of the US Amateur Triathlete Competition as well as a USA Triathlon State Club Championship. Ryea was in 10th place after the swim. Brett Nichols, 25, of Brookline, MA led out of the water with a 19:53 swim. Nichols held his lead through the bike with a 1:10:22 ride. Ryea trailed by 3 minutes at the start of the bike but used the days second fastest ride, 1:08:17, to close within a minute at the end. Ryea was 20 seconds quicker in the transition zone (only 26 seconds bike to run) and caught Nichols just before mile two with the third best run (36:43). Nichols finished second in 2:11:00. Kyle Friis, 22, of Brookeville, MD used a 36:41 run (2nd best) to take third in 2:12:34. Jeremy Davis, 29, of Ames, Iowa had the fastest run of the day (35:43) to finish forth in 2:13:30. I was so far back after the swim and I didnt know how strong the leaders were on the bike and run so I rode my race and saw the leader start the run and I knew I could catch him, commented Ryea. Rakel had just come off winning the Arizona Best of the U.S. Triathlon. She is in Middlebury attending the Middlebury College Summer Language School. Morgan Chaffin of Omaha, Neb., age 25, had a strong swim and the womens fastest (1:12:44) bike ride to lead Rakel by over four minutes at the start of the run. Rakel out ran Chaffin by a minute per mile to take the lead at mile four. Mariana Lara Planas, 33, of Colchester had a consistent race to take second in 2:26:32 with Chaffin finishing third in 2:27:13. Twenty-nine-year-old Chris Coffey of Vergennes passed fifty one year old Steve Hare of Middlebury in the last half mile of the run to finish 7th overall and 4th in the 25-29 age group in a time of 1:18:27. Hare placed 8th overall in 1:18:44 and won the 50-54 group by six minutes over Jeffrey Schumann (1:24:54) of Newington, Conn., and Salisbury, Vt. (18th overall). Two Middlebury women had strong overall races as Nicole Wilkerson won the 35-39 age group in 2:33:06 and Brooke Jette took third in 2:42:19. Jette had a 2 minute lead over Wilkerson at the end of the bike but Wilkerson posted the fastest womens run of the day, 41:32 to win. Wilkerson placed 9th overall and Jette claimed 14th overall. Cory Coffey of Vergennes was second in the mens 30-34 group and 13th overall. Coffey has previously had two third place overall finishes in the first two Vermont Sun races. Two Cornwall men competed in the 35-39 group with Barney Hodges placing 8th in 2:36:10 and David Donahue finishing 12th in 2:47:19. Salisburys John Izzo claimed 3rd in the 55-59 group with a 2:59:34. Douglass Dier of Brandon was 7th in 45-49 with a 3:11:21 finish while Ginger Lambert of Middlebury took third in 50-54 (3:11:45). Middleburys Chas Lyons anchored Team Screaming Zucchinis with a 39:58 run to win the team title in 2:24:49. Team Slugbusters, led by Jim Arnolds 1:15:20 bike, won the mixed over 40 group in 2:27:49. The final Vermont Sun Triathlon Series Race is the Half Vermont Journey to be held Saturday, August 23rd at Branbury State Park. The event is half the Ironman distance at 1.2 miles of swimming, 56 miles of biking and 13.1 miles of running. Festivities will include music and full buffet meal under a big tent at the park. Many local organizations and businesses such as Otter Creek Brewing, Mister Ups Restaurant, the Middlebury Inn and Carrara Concrete will be involved in this major event. For more information contact race director Jerrod Rushton at 462-2999.

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