Beaver Lake Triathlon tests top athletes

August 21, 2012

By Lillian O'Rorke

Megan Worzella, 27, of Bellevue, leaves the transition area to begin the running leg of her winning the female 25-29 years of age category with an overall time of 1:3å3:33 in the Beaver Lake Triathlon. By Lillian O’Rorke

The buzz of hundreds of people chattering rose up from the shore of Beaver Lake Aug. 18 as athletes clad in Speedos and wetsuits waited for their turn to make a splash.

The Beaver Lake Triathlon kicked off at about 8 a.m. with the first group of elite challengers disturbing the silky lake surface like a school of salmon. What followed was wave after wave of 50 swimmers each, making their way around the quarter-mile course before sprinting to the bike transition area.

“It was very warm — we had that heat wave,” said Jason Renfroe, of Sammamish. “It’s a real short course. All you do is sprint as fast as you can, gulp a lot of water and tag your partner.”

His teammate Steve Holton took over for the second cycling leg of the race. After finishing the 13.8-mile bike ride down and back up Redmond-Fall City Road, Holton was stripped of any grand illusions but still smiling.

“It was hard,” he said. “I don’t think we are in as good a shape as last year. But it’s always a good event.”

Holton’s team, 3 Amigos, complete with John Wall as the runner, finished with a time of 1½ hours and 23 seconds to take sixth place out of the 18 teams.

“We had more donuts this year,” Renfroe said.

In first place was another Sammamish team made up of Amy McOmber, Sam Beeson and Michael Flindt. At 18, Flindt was the youngest among those to first cross the finish line after running the 4.3-mile final leg in 25:14. His team won with a total time of 1:13.30.

“We came out to have fun,” said Beeson, adding that the three of them only decided to compete a few weeks ago. “We didn’t know he was going to blow the field away.”

The overall first-place title went to Rusty Pruden, of Redmond, who, wearing a Speedo, completed the triathlon, from start to finish, in 1:06:41.

“This one was especially fun because I’ve had a weird season,” Pruden said.

The 29-year-old explained that he wore the Speedo to add a silly-edge to the competition.

“It was nice to come out and compete with friends,” he said.

Jason Houck, 34 of Issaquah, finished in second place overall with a time of 1:09:02. From Sammamish, 20-year-old Andie Taylor was the top female at 1:20:29. Piper Strand, of Sammamish, finished sixth in the women’s group and Kristina Chalfant took ninth.

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