SALISBURY — New Haven’s Chris Coffey was among the winners on Saturday as the Vermont Sun Triathlon Series opened its 29th season at Branbury State Park on Lake Dunmore with two simultaneous races.
Coffey prevailed the men’s side of the shorter Vermont Sun Triathlon, consisting of a 600-yard swim, 14-mile bike ride and 3.1-mile run. Also contested was the Lake Dunmore Triathlon, an Olympic distance event consisting of a 1,600-yard swim, 28-mile bike ride and 6.2 mile run.
The day’s other winners were Dot Martin of Montpelier in the women’s Vermont Sun Triathlon, while Nick Richardson and Ann-Marie Stearns were the men’s and women’s winners, respectively, in the Lake Dunmore Triathlon.
Coffey won his second Series Triathlon in what organizers said was a strong field, with a time of 1:01:06. Don Kjelleren of Shelburne followed 17 seconds later to claim second.
Kjelleren, Coffey and John Spinney of Burlington finished their swim in Lake Dunmore together. Coffey was first to get out of the transition on his bike. His ride was the third fastest of the day, while Kjelleren had the fastest bike ride (33:05) by 45 seconds to take the lead. Coffey then had the best run of the day (17:58) to win.
Spinney claimed third in 1:02:30. Cory Coffey, Chris’ brother, of Vergennes used the day’s second-best bike ride (33:27) to take fourth in 1:03:02. Cory Coffey’s time was his personal best for the distance and the closest he has finished to his older brother.
Martin, 53, easily topped the women’s field in 1:12:22. Melissa Rowe was second in 1:14:39. Former top overall finisher Linn Larson won the women’s 55-to-59 age group in 1:26:33.
Richardson won the Lake Dunmore Triathlon in 2:12:07, more than 13 minutes faster than the second-place finisher, while the next six finishers were separated by just 2:29.
Richardson was third out of the water but then had the fastest bike ride by nearly two minutes (1:11:30) and run by almost six minutes in 37:05.
Charlie Cowen, James Frazier, and Middlebury’s Steve Hare all finished the swim together in the top five, and then went back and forth on the bike to all start the run within 15 seconds of each other in third through sixth places. Then Cowen, 62, used his 42:58 run to pull away. Frasier, 52, ran 44:24 to stay in front of Hare, 57, who ran 44:49. Cowen took second in (2:25:20); Frazier, third in (2:26:20); and Hare, fourth in (2:26:56).
Stearns won the women’s Olympic race in 2:31:32. She trailed Keelie Kozak by 2:39 after the swim. Stearns then posted the fastest women’s bike ride (1:17:59) and run (44:47) to pass Kozak on the bike and pull away on the run. Kozak’s second-place time was 2:36:48. Kim Rheaume of New Haven took second place in the women’s 40-45 age group.
Complete results are at www.coolrunning.com. Details on future events and on volunteer opportunities can be found at vermontsun.com.
The Vermont Sun Triathlon Series continues with the second Vermont Sun Sprint on July 20. On Aug. 10, both the Sprint and Olympic events will be held again to complete the 2014 Triathlon Series.