Submitted by Craig Dean –
Saturday September 15 marked the 10th annual Black Diamond Long Course Triathlon. Participants enjoyed near perfect conditions for both racing and spectating. In all, 199 athletes completed the 70.3-mile long course triathlon with a few of the region’s usual suspects competing for the overall and age group titles.
Grant Hayball lead early on the swim and maneuvered around both loops of the course for the day’s top swim split with a 1:15/100 yard average and 26:26 total time. Nearly a minute later, Aleck Alleckson pulled himself out of the water and 45 seconds behind him was Max Lawler. A few notably fast swim splits came out of the orange cap wave with Ed Clarke and Richard Seibert hitting the beach in less than 27 minutes each. The men’s race transitioned from swim to bike with a lump of contenders jostling their bikes onto the roads within a couple minutes of the leaders.
The pace of the women’s race was set early with Ann Ciaverella’s top swim split with a 1:30/100 yard average and 31:50 total time. A top contender in any regional race she enters, Ann also wore the bib number with the highest expectations – #1. Ann was trailed by Kristine Hime of Everett, WA and Jennifer Santoyo of Seattle, WA by nearly two minutes. After speedy transitions, the race headed to the relatively flat plateaus of the Cascade foothills for 56 miles on the bike.
Hayball, competing in his first long course distance race, held the lead through both of the short out-and-back sections of the first loop. His lead was roughly a minute over Alleckson and two minutes over a trifecta of riders that included Bill Thompson, Max Lawler and Warren McAndrew. A few miles down the road, with Hayball flirting 30 seconds ahead, Alleckson leaned harder on the pedals and temporarily eclipsed his intended watts to secure the lead in the race. For the next 28 miles, the men’s race held its order while I crept through the field and into 6th position overall. Roughly 45 miles into the ride, we hit the short out-and-back sections for the second and final time. Alleckson’s lead had stretched to three minutes over Hayball while the trifecta of riders in 3rd-5th position held tightly bunched while matching the leaders pace. I continued my assault from the 6th position en route to the top bike split of the day (24.16 mph average, total time of 2:19:05).
On the women’s side, Ciaverella led out of transition and maintained an even tempo early on the ride while several chasers utilized blazing rides to make up ground. Midway through the bike section, Joanna Pomykala thrust into the lead with her dominating ride and top split on the day averaging 22.26 mph and a total time of 2:30:58. Pomykala’s ride was enough to open up a three minute lead on Ciaverella heading into the second transition. Also utilizing strong rides were Heidi Kriss and Nichole Jacobson. They paced close to Ciaverella’s time and transitioned to run in 3rd and 4th position respectively. Santoyo slipped back to 5th position.
While Alleckson continued his surge into transition the men’s race took on a major reshuffling after the bikes were mounted. Lawler and Thompson hit the run course in 2nd and 3rd position while McAndrew, Hayball and myself trailed by just a few steps. All the gaps were tossed aside by the 2nd mile post and the men’s race was packed tight like sardines except for Alleckson’s expanding lead. I eventually found a gap on the field and settled comfortably in 2nd position. McAndrew utilized his surges on the run to shake off the initial attacks from Lawler for 3rd and 4th position. Thompson held steady refusing to crack.
By the time the men’s race hit the consequential 5k mark to the finish, Alleckson had thrown his exclamation on the race. Preparing for his third race at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Alleckson was looking for a new PR to rally around his final month of preparation. He kept his game face long after the race for the overall win was decided and pounded his effort into the scenically beautiful and physically horrific terrain of the final mile of park trails. His effort was awarded with a new PR of 4:16:11 for long course triathlon. Over five minutes later, I crossed the tape in 2nd position with a time of 4:21:48. McAndrew and Lawler locked horns over the final miles of the race with McAndrew holding off the rally for a 3rd place finish of 4:23:16. Lawler took 4th with a time of 4:23:52 followed by Thompson at 4:29:06. The fastest run split of the day went to 18 year old Jeremiah Jensen of Gig Harbor, WA with an average pace of 6:26 per mile and overall time of 1:24:24.
On the women’s side, Pomykala held the lead for the opening miles in spirited fashion against Ciaverella’s lightning fast run. When Ciaverella grabbed her lead she never looked back posting the top run split on the day with a 7:01 average pace and 1:31:53 overall time. It was a convincing win for Ciaverella as she pulled to the tape in 4:45:32. Pomykala held strong on the run never giving her chasers much hope in posting a 1:41:44 run split and 4:52:23 overall time in her 2nd placed performance. Heidi Kriss finished her strong performance and crossed the line in 3rd position overall with a time of 5:07:58. Nichole Jacobson defended her 4th position from the fleet footed Santoyo with an overall time of 5:14:21. Jennifer Santoyo finished 5th place with an overall time of 5:16:10.
After a beautiful day of racing in the Cascade foothills of Enumclaw, Washington, participants were rewarded with Widmer brew on tap, pulled pork on plate and AA Sports’ Jon Atherton’s humor on microphone. From Dale and Jacob Biddle’s father/son crossing the tape to the guy who raced entirely in a Viking warrior attire there were plenty of good memories to go around. To those that competed in Pacific Northwest multi-sport events this year, congratulations – and please spread the word and encourage others to challenge themselves like you’ve done in 2012.
Special thanks to Carol and Jon Atherton for continuing to support the NW multi-sport scene. Thank you also to the King County Sheriff’s Department for protecting the athletes from unwitting drivers. And a big thanks to the volunteers that place themselves between athletes and their hydration.
Full results – CLICK HERE