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.