Larson wins back-to-back races

15-year-old wins second straight Kincardine Triathlon

By Josh Howald

Jessica Larson is a back-to-back race champ.

Larson turned in a time of 46:28 to finish the ninth annual Kincardine Women’s Triathlon quicker than any other competitor. That time is two seconds faster than her winning time at last year’s event, something that left Larson somewhat surprised.

“I definitely didn’t train as hard this year as I did last summer,” said Larson following the race. “But I was hoping to end up with a similar time, so I’m pretty happy with it. It felt good.”

Port Elgin's Jessica Larson won her second straight Kincardine Women's Triathlon title Saturday morning. Larson, 15, finished the race in 46 minutes and 28 secnods. (Josh Howald photo)

The swimming portion of the race clinched the race title for the 15-year-old former Kincardine resident. She turned in a swim time of 6:58, the only competitor to finish the 350m swim in under seven minutes. The next best time belonged to fourth place finisher and Kincardine resident Kristin McIlroy at 7:10.

“I was going to wear a wetsuit, but decided to take it off after getting in the water this morning (before the race),” said Larson. “It was a bit chilly, but the water was calm so it was nice.”

It didn’t appear that the weather was going to co-operate with the ninth annual race, but the weather calmed in the hours leading up to the race.

“Overall it turned out fantastic,” said race director Laura Trepanier. “The weather broke at about 7:30 a.m. and it turned out to be a great morning.”

Ripley’s Amy Snobelen was second in the triathlon, finishing 25 seconds back of Larson. Emily Dance, also of Ripley was sixth, while Kincardine’s Julia McGrath was ninth. Other locals finishing in the top-25 included Kincardine’s Michele Gade (12th),Tiverton’s Erin Mohr (18th) and Karen Smith (25th) of Kincardine.

The duathlon, which consisted of 3km run, 12 km bike and another 3km run, was won by Nicole Kerr of Blyth. She finished the course in 49:09, a little less than three minutes ahead of the second place competitor, Kincardine native Becki Hughes. Roxanne Andrews of Tiverton was seventh, while Kate Mahood-Richards of Kincardine finished 16th. Other locals in the top-25 were Kincardine’s Victoria Skinner (19th) and Paula Holla (22nd).

The Triathlon Relay was won by Lindsay Azoto, Anne Holbrook and Angela Ford with a time of 47:22.

For the first year, a spirit award was awarded in memory of Janet Bannerman. The award was shared by a pair of ladies who helped each other through the swim and cycle portions of the race to cross the line together.

The race again earned accolades from the competitors, who love the spirit of this event.

“I guess people were out in their driveways, cheering (the racers) on as they went by,” said Trepanier. “And all our volunteers were cheering them on as well. I had several comments about how much they appreciate that, and it really does inspire them.”

“Without our sponsors and our volunteers, there would be no race,” said Trepanier. “I can’t thank them enough.”

More than 100 volunteers ensured everything went smoothly on race day. There were no injuries and no accidents.

“Everybody that started the race finished it,” said Trepanier, “with a smile on their face. We had a great race day.”

The annual Kincardine Women’s Triathlon has raised more than $48,000 for the Ontario March of Dimes local Chapter heading into this year’s event.