JUNEAU - Sixty-six racers turned out Sunday to participate in Juneau's first-ever open-water triathlon during a customary, light Southeast Alaska rain. This sprint distance Aukeman Triathlon, with a 750-meter swim, a 19k bike ride and a 5k run, was the first of its kind in Juneau featuring an open-water swim in Auke Lake, wetsuits required.
Jason Dolbeck, a 40-year U.S. Coast Guard member stationed in Juneau, crossed the finish line seven minutes ahead of his closest competitor with an official time of 1:07:12. Next across the line was 2009 JDHS graduate and cross country standout Daniel Stoops, followed by Houston Laws. These Auke men were followed closely by Jordan Moser and Melissa Bogert, who were the first two female competitors to cross the finish line.
Dolbeck and several other Juneau racers are flying to Seattle next week to compete in the Lake Stevens Ironman 70.3 (mile) Triathlon, which is half the distance of a full Ironman triathlon.
"I've got a half-Ironman next weekend, so this was a tune-up for that race," Dolbeck said.
Seattle's half-Ironman race includes a 1.9k swim, a 90k bike ride, and 21.1k run.
Dolbeck praised the Aukeman race organizers for putting on a good race.
"I would like to commend John Bursell and Tracy Rivera for putting on a class-A event here in Juneau," he said. "I've taken part in a lot of triathlons, and this was put together just as well as any of them."
Rivera and Bursell spent the past year getting permits, sponsorship and organizing the local Aukeman triathlon.
"We wanted to put one on so other folks could experience it with an open water swim," Rivera said. "That's the fun part. We had hoped for 30 or 40 (racers), so we were really surprised when we got this many."
Bursell and Rivera also will travel to the Lake Stevens race. The duo is two of Juneau's most accomplished distance athletes, and will likely give Dolbeck some competition. In 2007, Bursell and Rivera qualified for the prestigious Ironman World Championships in Hawaii. Rivera said he has competed in approximately 50 triathlons during the past 13 years, including nine Ironman-distance triathlons. Bursell said he has competed in four Ironman-distance triathlons since 2006.
Jordan Moser, 22, was the first woman to cross the finish line with an official time of 1:15:45. Moser, a former JDHS cross country runner and 2006 graduate, said the race was easier than expected.
"My goal was just to finish it. It wasn't as bad as I expected it to be," she said. "The distances are all pretty short since it's a sprint. Individually, none of the events are terribly difficult or painful... I thought my legs would just turn to rubber after the bike. The water was really warm. It was actually easier to come out here and swim with the group because you could follow people instead of hoping you were going the right direction."
Moser had prepared for the race by doing practice swims in Auke Lake.
The oldest male racer was 60-year-old Reed Stoops, who finished 10th overall (1:18:21) and crossed the finish line to a round of cheers by his son and second-place finisher, Daniel.
"I'm off to do a half iron man next week in Lake Stevens along with John Bursell, Tracy Rivera, and Jason (Dolbeck)," Reed Stoops said. "This is my first real triathlon. It's just a ton of fun, and it's great to see as many participants as we had today. This was way more than I expected."
Apparently, age is not much of a factor for some Juneau racers. Twenty nine of the 66 competitors in the Auke Man riathlon were over the age of 40.
16-19 - 1. Bogert 1:16.34; 2. Jones; 3. Busch1
20-24 - 1. Moser 1:15.45; 2. Potdevin; 3. Mahara
25-29 - 1. Compton 1:19.12; 2. Lende; 3. Kane; 4. Rielly; Marin
30-34 - 1. Ahleman 1:27.48; 2. Dunn
35-39 - 1. Watson 1:22.20; 2. Tide; 3. Schultz
40-44 - 1. Jeans 1:20.54; 2. Anderson; 3. Bishop; 4. Carroll; 5. Buley
45-49 - 1. Mancuso 1:40.20; 2. Sullivan; 3. Jones; 4. Bursell
50-54 - 1. White 1:19.09; 2. Rivera; 3. Woods; 4. Kane; 5. Darnall; 6. Toth; 7. Rausch
55-59 - 1. Boochever 1:30.26; 2. Stidolph; 3.
16-19 - 1. Stoops 1:14.12; 2. Anderson; 3. Bursell
20-24 - 1. Laws 1:14.22; 2. Conheady; 3. Sanders; 4. Helf; 5. Thibodeau
25-29 - 1. Loken-Kim 1:21.19; 2. Strong; 3. Dorn; 4. Rider; 5. Coyle; Albert
30-34 - 1. Hildebrand 1:23.41
35-39 - 1. Sellers 1:17.13; 2. Host; 3. Knight; 4. Janik; 5. Schneider; 6. Heavner
40-44 - 1. Dolbeck 1:07.12; 2. Diaz; 3. Merriman
45-49 - 1. Poor 1:25.19; 2. Dugan; 3. Sleppy
50-54 - 1. Koenitzer 1:24.54; 2. Van Alen
55-60 - 1. Farrington 1:37.00