Sports

Athletes turn out in force for ‘HOTS’

Above, Laura Collins, the women’s overall winner of the 2008 Heart of the Sound Triathlon, heads out on the bicycle leg. Collins completed the half-mile swim, 14.6-mile bicycle ride and 3.6 mile run in 1 hour, 37 minutes, 28 seconds. At right, Kendall Townsend, the men’s overall winner of the triathlon, emerges from the water of Quartermaster Harbor at the end the swimming leg. Townsend completed the course in 1 hour, 19 minutes, 57 seconds. - Rik Forschmiedt photos
Above, Laura Collins, the women’s overall winner of the 2008 Heart of the Sound Triathlon, heads out on the bicycle leg. Collins completed the half-mile swim, 14.6-mile bicycle ride and 3.6 mile run in 1 hour, 37 minutes, 28 seconds. At right, Kendall Townsend, the men’s overall winner of the triathlon, emerges from the water of Quartermaster Harbor at the end the swimming leg. Townsend completed the course in 1 hour, 19 minutes, 57 seconds.
— image credit: Rik Forschmiedt photos

An anxious ten-second countdown, a cannon blast from an offshore longboat, and the Eighth Annual Vashon Heart of the Sound Triathlon (HOTS) was under way on Sunday.

Contestants swam half a mile against strong currents, cycled almost 15 miles on a challenging and hilly bike course, and ran 3.6 miles around the Burton Loop.

“That was one of the hardest things I have ever done,” said veteran runner and first-time triathlete Cedric Gagnaire following the race. “Coming out of the water I couldn’t feel my feet for five minutes into the bike course.”

Top overall male finishers were Kendall Towsend, 47, of Sedro Wooley, (1:19.57), Joshua Fitchitt (1:22.10) and Scott Seamster (1:24.59).

Top women finishers included Laura Collins, 41, of Seattle (1:37.28), Stacy Munn (1:41.12) and Katie Roggenbuck (1:44.28), who was also the top Vashon female triathlete.

Mark Ripley was the top Vashon male competitor, crossing the finish line in 1:28.46.

The “Three Amigos” team of Scott Bonney, Josh Thorn and 14-year-old running sensation Ezra Koenig were the fastest relay, finishing the three legs of the triathlon in 1:34.00.

Check out page A9 for a highlight of the kids’ triathlon.

— Scott Bonney is the Vashon masters swim coach and an avid open-water swimmer.

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