Eli Ruiz | Democrat
The first Woodstock Triathlon festival was held Saturday in and around Bethel, including the swim race at Lake Superior Park. Competitors have to change on the run as they move on to the next event.
What a day to swim, bike and run
Story by Eli Ruiz
BETHEL May 7, 2013 The Triathlon concludes with the grueling bike and running segments which traversed the beautiful, but hilly Bethel countryside.
By all accounts, Split Second Race Management’s first foray into Sullivan County with its Woodstock Triathlon Festival on Saturday was a resounding success.
With nearly 200 endurance athletes from throughout the tri-state area participating in the inaugural event, race director Doug Rice, who back in March said he hoped for 150 people, was delighted. “It’s everything I imagined it would be in this gorgeous setting, and the folks from Sullivan County have been just top notch,” affirmed Rice.
In fact, Rice, the founder of Split Second Racing, intends to make the triathlon an annual event. He offered, “The course is just unbelievable and we’re just hoping to grow it each year.”
Saturday’s race was split into two categories: a half-triathlon comprised of a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike and a 13.1 mile run; and a less challenging, but grueling nonetheless, Olympic-style triathlon with its .93-mile swim, 28-mile bike and 6.2-mile run. The first tri-athletes hit the water at Lake Superior by 7:45 a.m.
Rice is no stranger to the area, though, having lived and worked in Sullivan County from 1980 to 1985. “It’s always been my dream to hold such an event here in Sullivan County,” said Rice in a March interview with the Democrat. Back then he’d estimated water temperatures to hover around the low to mid-50s, but mother nature did him one better, granting organizers and athletes a glorious day to compete, with some estimating water temps in the mid-60s on Saturday.
“I ran my first triathlon here back when I was the parts manager over at Arthur Glick [Chevrolet]. I also trained here for the other various events I’d participated in over the years so I was just extremely excited to be able to bring this event up here to this amazing area,” added Rice.
Finishing in first place overall in the Olympic triathlon category was 35-year old Timothy Felegie of Weston, PA. with a swim time of 23:55 (good for eighth place), a bike time of 1:15:53 (first place), and a top-ranked 37 minute run. The overall half-triathlon winner was Jason Frank, 30, of Burlington, VT. finished his swim in 30:03 (2nd place), his bike in 2:40:12 (1st place) and run in 1:29 (2nd place).
There were also half and Olympic “duathlon” events which consisted of both the running and biking portions of the triathlon while skipping the swimming leg of the race. One local athlete placed prominently in the Olympic-style duathlon attorney Jared Hart, 28, of Jeffersonville who placed 5th in the Olympic duathlon with a total time of 3:04:32.
After his big win, an out-of breath Felegie offered, “What an outstanding course. The grades were such that you just couldn’t get a serious rhythm on the bike, but at least my run is always real solid and I think that’s what saved me today.
Felegie who’s competed in six half-triathlon events in the past claims to have trained up to 30-hours per week since November for Saturday’s race. He said he spent the night prior to the event in his car in the parking lot of the Monticello Wal-Mart. He said of his first experience in Sullivan County, “Beautiful, I just love it here and you can bet I’ll be right back here next year probably to do the half, though.”
For full race results, or for information on upcoming events go to splitsecondracing.com.