• Chuck Dimaizio, Annie Ridgely take Ironman/Ironwoman titles
By Sean Pearson
What started as a relatively warm and sunny Sunday at Mariner Park took quite an uphill turn into ice and snow as some 53 Sea to Ski triathletes made their way from the base of the Homer Spit (elevation about 24 feet) to the top of Baycrest Hill (elevation about 1,000 feet.)
As if the 900-plus-foot bicycle climb isn’t enough of a challenge already, Mother Nature threw in a few interesting obstacles of her own via snow, hail and copious amounts of mud.
The route started at sea level with a 5k run through some of Homer’s busiest streets. (That makes for some unsafe crossing at the Lake Street and Homer Bypass stoplight; hence the kilted crossing guard, Robert Archibald, keeping traffic under control.)
Runners trekked up to West Homer Elementary School, where they donned a helmet, mounted a bike and set off on the calf-screaming, 7k climb up West Hill. Some took on the treacherous climb via regular mountain bikes, while others relied out fat bike tires. The verdict is still out as to which one was better.
Once at the top, athletes exchanged their bikes for snow skis at the Roger’s Loop Trailhead and skied another 5k to the finish line at the Baycrest DOT Sterling Highway trailhead.
Homer’s own Annie Ridgely took the Ironwoman title this year, finishing the entire triathlon route in one hour, 20 minutes and 17 seconds. Hannah Johnson was second with a time of 1:23:54, while Kristen Valentine took third in 1:25:48.
Ironman Chuck Dimaizio bested the rest of his field by more than eight minutes, coming in at 1:07:34. Dimiaizio also turned in the overall fastest time in both the bike and ski segments. His closest competitor in the bike climb was still more than three minutes behind his scorching time of 22:36. Dimaizio finished with the second-fastest time in the 5k run. Sean Ulman, who finished third overall, turned in the fasted run time of 21:33. Adam Muggli finished second in the Ironman competition, finishing in 1:15:35.
“IronTeams” competed in women’s, men’s and mixed divisions. Devry Garity, Debbie Wrigley and Kathy Sarns took the top spot for the women’s teams. The three combined for an overall time of 1:19:22, while the trio of Saundra Hudson, Emily Sloth and Ginger Johnson finished second in 1:25:53.
In the men’s team division, 13-year-old Charlie Rohr competed in both the running and skiing events to finish first with teammate Daniel Olson. The two turned in a time of 1:10:44. The combo of Andy Haas, Jay Boyer and Alan Parks finished just three minutes behind Rohr and Olson, coming in second with a time of 1:13:44.
In the mixed division, Randy Davis, Derek Wilson and Natalie Law combined for a first-place time of 1:24:00. Alli McCarron, Dexter Lowe and Caleb Rauch finished second in 1:27:52, while the family team of Denver, Douglas and Michelle Waclawski posted an overall time of 1:34:33 for third place.
Ironman teammates Kevin Walker and Louis Dupree had planned to participate in the Sea to Ski, but their runner got sick and none of their alternates were available.
“We went to the start anyway, just hoping to pick up a runner somewhere,” Walker explained.
The two triathletes ran into Ironwoman competitor Keri Syth, whose 10-year-old son Peter was planning to run with her on the first leg.
“We told Peter he just needed a bib, and he could join our team,” Walker said. “He did, and we all had fun.”
Also of note was Ironwoman competitor Catriona Lowe. While Lowe finished 10th overall, she did so after having played two full days of tournament broomball.
“I’ve been doing a lot of endurance-building,” Lowe said of her feat of fitness. “I’m not fast, but I can go and go and go.”
See Homer Tribune newspaper for results.
Comments are closed