Triathlon sees bike record set

SALISBURY — Kevin Bouchard-Hall of Wadhams, N.Y., shattered the bike course record on his way to winning Sunday’s men’s Vermont Sun Triathlon in 1:00.13. Donna Smyers of Adamant won the women’s race, held at Branbury State Park, in 1:12:46.
Cory Coffey of Vergennes was the top local finisher overall, taking sixth in the men’s race in 1:07:18 while winning his 35-39-year-old age group.
The Vermont Sun Triathlon starts with a 600-yard swim, followed by a 14-mile bike ride and a 3.1-mile run.
Bouchard-Hall finished the swim in Lake Dunmore in sixth place. It took him four miles of the 14-mile bike course to take over the lead from Burlington’s Jason Franks. His bike time of 30:53 broke the course record by a whopping 1:13. Franks is one of just eight men who have broken one hour on the course over the past 25 years, and he has done it three times.
“Kevin just blew by me on the bike, I’ve never been past on the bike before,” said Franks, who rode the day’s second best (33:00) and was attempting to break the course record of 59:06.
Bouchard-Hall might have shattered that record if not for some bad luck. The swim course is usually 600 yards, but on Sunday it was 750 yards because two of the buoys marking the course drifted off their marks. Race officials said it probably added two minutes to the day’s times, and two minutes from Bouchard-Hall’s time could have meant breaking the course record by more than 50 seconds.
Bouchard-Hall was philosophical.
“This is a great race but, running these things is hard and stuff happens that can’t be anticipated. I’ll be back next year to try again,” he said. If you subtract two minutes from his time he would have had a 58:13 breaking the record by a dramatic 53 seconds.
Franks outran Bouchard-Hall by 13 seconds to close the gap a little and finished second in 1:01:37. The next three finishers were separated by just 41 seconds, but were about four minutes behind Franks. Clement Noullet of Paris, France, was third in 1:05:10, Charlotte’s Sean Fleming took forth in 1:05:42, and Grand Isle’s Eric Cockeran rounded out the top five in 1:05:51.
Smyers, a world-class age-group women’s racer, had the fastest women’s bike ride in 37:54. She was almost two minutes faster than her nearest rival, Stephanie Doyon of Mont-Royal, Quebec. Doyon outran Smyers by a minute after out-swimming her by 52 seconds, but came up 17 seconds short of catching her to finish second in 1:13:03.
Bozeman, Mont.’s Erica Flowers had the day’s best women’s run, 2:32 better than Doyon, but was about four seconds behind in third in 1:13:07. Dot Martin of Montpelier, 56, claimed fourth in 1:16:05.
Sunday’s race boasted 127 finishers, plus six relay teams.
Kyle Flack of New Haven won the 30-39 group in 1:19:42. Bristol’s Anne Rossier won the women’s 35-39 group in 1:21:47.9. Ripton’s Wendy Schneider claimed first in the 45-49 group in 1:23:04.8.
Steve Hare of Middlebury won the 55-59 age group in 1:13:29, and Brandon’s Doug Robinson claimed fourth in 1:24:14.
Wendy Puls of Bristol was the women’s 60-64 champ in 1:35:38, with Andrea Halnon of Lincoln third in 1:53:25.
Salisbury’s Amanda Reinhardt took third in women’s 30-34 in 1:26:59, and Cornwall’s Kevin Lane was seventh in men’s 40-44 with a 1:30:58.
Sandy Chicoine of Leicester was fifth in the 40-44 group at 1:39:50. Middlebury’s Eleanor Bacon was seventh in the 20-24 group in 1:54:27.
The third and final Vermont Sun Triathlon will be held on Sunday, Aug. 14. On that date The Lake Dunmore Olympic distance triathlon will also be held. Those interested in participating or in volunteering to help stage the event may contact Vermont Sun at 388-6888.

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