Local athletes, volunteers in triathlon

Submitted to The Dorchester Banner/Juanita Darby The race attracted quite a few local athletes, including this relay team representing Dorchester Department of Emergency Services (DES). From the left are friend of DES Madison Bee (bike), Medical Director Steve White (swim) and Emergency Medical Technician Emily Voshell (run).

Submitted to The Dorchester Banner/Juanita Darby
The race attracted quite a few local athletes, including this relay team representing Dorchester Department of Emergency Services (DES). From the left are friend of DES Madison Bee (bike), Medical Director Steve White (swim) and Emergency Medical Technician Emily Voshell (run).

CAMBRIDGE – There was a time when people didn’t know what a triathlon was, much less want to compete in one.

Well, those days are over.

Several Dorchester County government employees, friends and family, as well as members of local clubs and independent athletes, competed or volunteered in the IRONMAN 70.3 Eagleman on Sunday, showing how the endurance race has caught on among local residents.

Solid organization, generous hospitality, quiet roads and mild weather have served to put this event on the map in the triathlon world. Athletes – 1,844 of them this year – do travel from far and wide to take part in the 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike course and 13.1-mile run.

The overall male winner was Cody Beals of Canada, who completed the swim in 24:43.0, the bike in 2:03.26, and the run in 1:16.06 for a time of 3:49.04. The top-ranked woman, who finished 14th overall, was fellow Canadian Stephanie Roy, who crossed the finish line in 4:15.05, after compiling a swim of 30:05.0, a bike of 2:23.17, and a run of 1:18.0.

Mr. Beals looked surprisingly fresh after the race, but looks can be deceiving.

“There’s no such thing as an easy win,” he said as he cooled down near the finish line. I was running a little bit scared at the beginning there, but early on [in the run] I realized I had the win locked up and I worked on enjoying the experience after that.

This Mr. Beals’ sixth Ironman 70.3 win.

“I feel like an honorary resident,” he said. “I know everybody on Bellevue Avenue, where I have my house-stay. Cambridge has such a wonderful group of people. It’s rdare to find a city rally behind a race to the extent they do in Cambridge. It’s such a great vibe, I can pick it up as soon as I roll into town. It’s really nostalgic when I come back here now.”

Ms. Roy looked back on her race with special satisfaction – she started the run seven minutes down to the leader, and in seventh place overall. “Roy proceeded to throw down the fastest run on the day by close to eight and a half minutes to celebrate the win,” a report on www.ironman.com said.

“This morning I was pretty stressed, I wanted to win,” she said. “My run is my strength, and I think I started the run in seventh place. I managed to work into first place, so it is quite moving and I’m really happy. It was my first Ironman race two years ago, so I’m really glad to be here and honored to win this race.”

But locals won’t be outdone by visitors – over the years, increasing interest has lured more and more Dorchester residents to test their training and determination.

Not all competitors choose to do the whole thing, though. Some compete in relays, which each team member tackling one part of the tri.

“We have several relays, including a Dorchester Emergency Services (DES) relay with EMS Medical Director Steve White swimming, friend of the department Madison Bee biking, and EMT Emily Voshell running,” a statement from DES said. “Also competing in relays today are Bill Webb (Eastern Shore Hospital Center), Philip Fenstermaker and Director of Tourism Amanda Fenstermaker, friend of the county Patrick Thomas, Kevin White and former County Manager Chief of Staff Rebecca White, City of Cambridge planner Herve Hamon, son Patrick and stepgrandson Stephen. In a truly impressive move, States Attorney Bill Jones is completing the full race.”

Several other county employees volunteered to help, including Public Works Director Ryan White, Airport Director Amber Hulsey, and Economic Development Director Jeff Trice.

Organizers, led by Race Director Gerry Boyle, were praised by competitors after the successful and well run event.

“Amazing accomplishment,” David Lassiter posted on social media. “This was my first, and I’ll be back.”

The top American male finisher was Adam Otstot, who crossed the line in 3:55.42. The top American female finisher also came in second, as Jodie Robertson racked up a time of 4:17.06.

For full results, visit www.ironman.com.

Dave Ryan is editor of the Dorchester Banner. He can be reached at dryan@newszap.com.

Paul Clipper is the editor of the Dorchester Banner. He can be reached at pclipper@newszap.com.

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