Triathlon races through county

Dorchester Banner/Dave Ryan
Sunday’s rain showers were joined by a spray of champagne at the finish line of the Eagleman 70.3 Ironman Triathlon in Cambridge. The annual long-distace race was celebrated by three of the top male finishers. From the left are Adam Feigh, 3rd; Joe Gambles, 1st; and Cody Beals, 2nd.

CAMBRIDGE — Nearly 3,000 athletes with many more family members and friends, descended on Dorchester County over the weekend to take part in the Eagleman 70.3 Ironman Triathlon.

The annual event attracts global attention in the long-distance sport and provides a boost to the local economy,
The festivities included a Friday tribute to the late Race Director Gerry Boyle, who guided the event for many years to its current popularity. The race itself was held on Sunday, when high winds caused the cancellation of the 1.2-mile Choptank River swim.

But the athletes soldiered on through a steady drizzle, covering 56 miles through the county on their sleek bikes, and wrapping it all up with a half marathon of 13.1 miles.

Hundreds of local citizens took part as volunteers or simply cheering from their front yards as the athletes rode and ran by. Among them were members of Groove City Trekkers, a Cambridge walking club.

“We had to transition from swim start, due to swim cancellation, to bike entry,” member Dormaim Greene posted online. “The Groove City Trekkers hyped and pumped up the participants for their bike ride. We collected a bunch of bracelets for best volunteers, as well!”

The top male finisher was Joe Gambles of Tasmania, Australia, who crossed the line in 3:17.08. The day’s fastest female was Danielle Dingman, who finished in 3:44.34.

The event offered 40 qualifying slots to the 2019 Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Nice, France, as well as a professional prize purse of $30,000.

The 2,900 registered participants traveled from 44 states and 26 countries. The Eastern Shore supplied many, including those from the Cambridge Multi-Sport Club, which was well represented by a strong group.

“Rain and wind made for an extra challenging race, but nonetheless fun and rewarding. Just like last year, I left home and gave everything to God, I knew despite the conditions He gave me mental peace,” CMS athletes and Cambridge police officer Christine La Monica posted online. “Never give up, Never give in, Don’t listen to negative people, Dream big! Thank you again to all the volunteers and support from the community on the course.”

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