County’s triathletes excel at Dunmore

SALISBURY — Bristol’s Todd Smith led the way for local triathletes by becoming the men’s overall winner of Sunday’s Olympic-distance Lake Dunmore Triathlon in 2:09:52.
Smith, 40, finished a minute-and-a-half ahead of All-American William Schumann of West Hartford, Conn. (2:11:23), and also bested last year’s champion, Dave Connery of Shelburne, who took third in 2:12:42.
The event, held at Branbury State Park on Lake Dunmore, consisted of a 1,600-yard swim, 28-mile bike ride and 6.2-mile run.
Ann-Marie Stearns of Bethel was the women’s winner in 2:31:17, edging runner-up Susan Horstman of Haverford, Pa., by 36 seconds.
In the men’s event, Smith finished the swim in seventh place. His third-best bike split (1:11:43) moved him up to third behind Schumann and Connery. He then posted the day’s best run (34:14) to first catch Schumann and then Connery, who had the second- and fourth-best runs. But both of their splits were more than five minutes slower than Smith’s spectacular 34:14 effort over 10K.
Among other notable local efforts, veteran Middlebury triathlete Steve Hare won the men’s 55-59-year-old age group (ninth overall) in 2:27:49, while fellow Middlebury resident Joe Powers claimed second in the 30-34 group (14th overall) with a 2:35:04. Kyle Flack of New Haven claimed second in the 25-29 group with a 2:52:25.
Running simultaneously with the Lake Dunmore Triathlon was the sprint distance Vermont Sun Triathlon (600-yard swim, 14-mile bike and 3.1-mile run). Both races attracted nearly 300 athletes, and a record number of local racers participated in the events.
Peter Dodds of Burlington won the sprint in 1:05:28. Ed Hamilton of Shelburne was second in 1:09:53. Melissa Rowe of Bennington was the women’s champion in 1:13:47, and Sara Kruck of Shelburne claimed second in 1:15: 17.
Mattie Peoples of Leicester led the locals as she finished fifth overall among the women in 1:19:00. Also, Shannon Sweeney of Leicester, 18, claimed third in the women’s 15-19 age group. Middlebury’s Tess Sneeringer took second in the 20-25 group with a 1:29:09, and Christy Lynn, also of Middlebury, claimed third in the 25-29 group.
In the 45-49 women’s group Sue Sweeney of Leicester won in 1:19:57, and New Haven’s Toss Stickney won the 55-59 group in 1:28:02.
In the 60-64 group it was Bristol’s Wendie Puls taking first in 1:32:08 and Lincoln’s Andrea Halnon the runner-up in 1:39:24.
Like many of the local Triathletes Ruth Kennedy-Grant of Waltham was competing in her first triathlon, in the 65-69 age group. She won it in 1:55:32, riding her 20-year-old favorite touring bike.
“I had done all the distances in practice but I just wasn’t sure if I could do them all together. I was nervous but excited and I was faster in all three events than had ever been. I wish had done this when I was younger, but I plan to do many more in the future,” said Kennedy-Grant.
Hare, the race director and founder, said Sunday was a great day for many reasons.
“We’ve been putting on these races for 29 years. Our goal was always to have our local community come out and celebrate their fitness with triathletes from around the region in these sprint triathlons,” Hare said. “Today’s record turnout of local participants was fantastic. We have a terrific group of people, including our general manager Ruth Bullock and all my family, put these events together. Really, a gorgeous summer day on Lake Dunmore, Vermont, is about as good as it gets.”
Sunday’s triathlons completed the five-event Vermont Sun 2014 Triathlon Series. Complete results for both races may be found by visiting vermontsun.com and clicking on the triathlon logo.
Still remaining on the calendar is the Vermont Sun Running festival on Sept. 28. The event gives runners the choice of three distances, 5 or 10 kilometers or a half marathon run at Branbury State Park. Information is available at vermontsun.com or at 388-6888.

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