Rivera finishes Ironman triathlon in Lake Placid

Posted: Wednesday, August 01, 2001

Tracy Rivera of Juneau finished in 208th place Sunday in the Ironman-Lake Placid triathlon in Lake Placid, N.Y.

Rivera, the track and field coach at Juneau-Douglas High School, took 52nd out of 318 men in the 30-34 age group. He completed the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run course around several of the 1980 Winter Olympics venues in 10 hours, 49 minutes, 30 seconds.

"My legs are still a little sore," Rivera said by phone Tuesday from Lake Placid. "This is a tough course. I did the Ironman-South Africa over spring break and this race is so hilly compared to South Africa. There was no flat section on the bike, you were either climbing or descending the whole way. There was no way to settle into a pace."

Rivera completed the swim portion of the race in 1:09:04. He took 5:42:58 to complete the bike leg, and his run leg time was 3:51:14. Those splits do not include time spent in the transition areas of the course. Rivera was the only Alaskan to complete the course this year, although William Michael Derrick of Eagle River started the race.

Last year Rivera was one of nine Alaskans to complete the race, and one of three people from Juneau and four from Southeast. His time Sunday was about 10 minutes slower than the 10:39:39 he posted last year to take 156th overall. His swim split was one minute faster this year, and he was a little quicker in the transitions, but he took five minutes longer on the bike leg and eight minutes longer on the run.

"Overall, it's not too bad," Rivera said. "I had a pretty good swim. There were 1,808 people at the start of the swim, and it's a mass start so you can imagine all the kicking and bumping that goes on. This year I started at a different spot and I stayed out of it."

But Rivera said he started to get tired in the bike leg.

"I came out of the water and I felt pretty good," he said. "But I've been doing a lot of training and we (Rivera and his wife Kim) run a charter fishing business in the summer. I think my bike time wasn't what it could have been because I'd been training and working so much. But I made it through."

Steve Larsen, a professional triathlete from Davis, Calif., won the race in 8:33:11, finishing more than eight minutes ahead of Ryan Boldon of Boulder, Colo., who posted an 8:41:53. Last year's winner, Cameron Widoff of Boulder, took third place in 8:55:07. Heather Fuhr of San Diego was the top female in the race, posting a time of 9:31:11 for 17th overall.

Even though Ironman-length triathlons are grueling, Rivera said the events are enjoyable.

"The funnest part of doing these is the training," Rivera said. "I've been working out in the morning with the master's swim group, which is coached by Jan Rumble. I've also done a few of the Southeast Road Runners races and I've done some of the Juneau Freewheelers events. It helps being a PE teacher, and it's great for motivation with the kids."

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