TIERRA VERDE — A strong current in the waters off Fort DeSoto County Park contributed to some fast times in Saturday's Suncoast Triathlon at Fort DeSoto.
"All you had to do was keep your head above water and the current would carry you along," race director Fred Ryzmek said. "I think it really helped some people."
Darby Thomas, a 25-year-old from Turku, Finland, was the overall winner with a time of 48:40 for the .33-mile swim, 10-mile bike and 3.1-mile run at the picturesque county park. Tracy Parker, a 38-year-old from Odessa, was the fastest female with a time of 59:44.
Other local male age group winners included: (1-14) John-Gerard Farese, 13 of St. Petersburg, 57:53; (15-19) Joey Steele, 15 of Tarpon Springs, 57:35; (35-39) Chris Pyhel, 37 of Tierra Verde, 54:27; (40-44) Daryl Mullholand, 43 of Clearwater, 58:55; (70-74) Mark Parish, 71 of Clearwater, 1:19:42.
In the Clydesdale division (40-99), Rick Downs, a 42-year-old from Redington Beach, finished first in 1:01:26. The fastest male first-timer was Gareth Burns, 15 of Palm Harbor, in 1:02:46.
Top local female finishers included: (15-19) Delaney Owen, 16 of Clearwater, 1:05:27; (20-24) Kelly Richards, 24 of Clearwater, 1:07:05; (35-39) Erin Kowal, 35 of Redington Beach, 1:00:19; (45-49) Claudia Jundueira, 45 of St. Petersburg, 1:02:31; (50-54) Clare Kelley, 53 of St. Petersburg, 1:10:53; (55-59) Kathy Dodd, 56 of Clearwater, 1:11:51; (70-74) Katie Knight-Perry, 73 of St. Petersburg, 1:51:51.
Jennifer Cubito, a 34-year-old from St. Petersburg, was the winner of the Athena division (1-39) with a time of 1:13:38. The female masters champion was Jennifer Hutchinson, 41 of St. Petersburg, 1:02:22.
High school update
Wes Reynolds, 18, won the St. Petersburg City Championships High School cross-country meet at Crescent Lake Park on Friday in 16:15. Reynolds is undefeated in his last 10 local competitions dating to June 20, when he won the first of the Clearwater Beach series 5km events.
Three local, national-caliber, senior age-group runners finished at the front of the pack at the Seventh Annual Great Westchase 5K Saturday in Tampa.
These speedsters finished within seconds of each other. St. Petersburg's Albert Wieringa, 62, led the group, winning his 60-64 division in 19:24. Joe Burgasser, 70, won the 70-74 division in 19:45, followed by Duncan Cameron, 65, first in 65-69 with a time of 9:51.
Nate Holden, a 23-year-old from Clearwater, was the overall winner in 16:12. Other top age group finishers included Mary Ann Mason, 13 of Clearwater, in 23:01; Erin Giesa, 29 of Seminole, 20:59; Jennifer LaPlante, 34 of St. Petersburg, 21:00; Victor Yeager, 48 of Dunedin, 18:08; and Wendy Burgasser, 55 of St. Petersburg, 23:29.
Forerunner Track Club members Kevin Milkey and Meghan Reynolds, both of St. Petersburg, completed the 33rd Annual Marine Corps Marathon in Washington on Sunday. Milkey, 44, ran 3:25:51, while Reynolds, 30, missed qualifying for next year's Boston Marathon with her 3:41:05.
Another local runner who made the trek north last weekend was St. Petersburg resident Rob Gadjo. Gadjo, a colonel with the U.S.M.C. reserves, met his twin brother John, also a marine aviator, in D.C. for the race. Rob, who says he is much better looking than his brother, finished in 4:24.49. John, who got the brains, clocked in at 5:07.
"If you take away my six bladder stops, I probably ran closer to a 4:19," Rob said. "Everything was fine until mile 19, when I think the Washington Monument fell over and crushed me."
Terry Tomalin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.