Triathlete’s come together in Washington

Published 7:38 am Sunday, August 1, 2010

Staff Writer

The natural serenity of Washington Park was broken Saturday as nearly 300 athletes took to the waters of the Pamlico River for the Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce Olympic and Sprint Triathlons.
Justin Park, 30, won the Olympic distance race in the open class, completing the 1,500-meter swim, 28-mile bicycle ride, and 10k run in 1:55:58.8. Park, a professional triathlete from Chapel Hill, used Saturday’s event as a tuneup for a half Ironman Triathlon he plans to enter in Boulder, CO, next week.
“The weather was very kind to us,” Park said. “It’s not hard to catch your breath.”
A former corporate attorney, Park used to work 100-hour work weeks. Now he trains five to six hours a day, eats and sleeps.
“I’m doing what I love and I’m just as tired.” he added.
In the shorter Sprint Triathlon, Jon Anderson of Roanoke Rapids edged 2008-Sprint winner Frank Fisher by 30.1 seconds over the 750-meter swim, 18-mile bicycle ride, and 5k run. Anderson, 30, was pleased with his time of 1:19:19.3.
“This was my first race since June,” Anderson said. “I hadn’t trained much since then and surprised myself. I put in two hard weeks of training before this race.”
The awards podium of the Sprint race featured many Washington participants: Liane Harsh (1:55:39.5) and Connie Cipriano (2:04:37.3) finished first and second in the Female Clydesdale Division; Shelby Smithwick (1:48:38.6) and Sarah Hager (2:08:34.3) finished second and third in the Female 16-19 age group; Richard Pfeiffer (1:35:38.2) won the Male 16-19 age group; Andy Bradbury (1:50:16.6)finished second in the Male 25-29 age group; Washington Park’s Tim Melton (1:45:26.6) finished third in the Male 45-49 age group.
Catherine Glover, executive director of the chamber, was thrilled with the number of local residents who competed and optimistic about the future of the race.
“We had a lot of people locally who wanted to do the Sprint,” Glover said. “Normally we would run them on separate days.
“We go through the Washington Park Town Council and they realize the economic impact of having us here and we appreciate that.”