Gulf Coast Triathlon May 10, 2015
by Kelli Dillon
As Bill Dillon would say, “It was hot…darn hot.”
There was no question on this beautiful, sunny morning if the swim was going to be canceled. Unlike the previous year, the water was clear and calm, but still wetsuit legal. Before the race, athletes mulled around wishing each other good luck and taking pictures. There was some good natured talk of sharks and other scary things that lurk in the water, but as soon as the gun went off the sharks were all but forgotten. The 1.2 mile swim was underway. Richard Oberlin was the first Gulf Winds Tri club member out of the water with a swim time of 31:54. Mike Weyant completed the 500 yard sprint swim in 5:51.
Gulf Winds Tri Club was well represented at this 33rd annual race. We had 23 participants in the 70.3 distance race, 9 athletes in the sprint distant, and three 70.3 relay teams. Jon Nash competed as an age grouper for the 70.3 distance; as well as, part of the Capital City Runners relay team with John Manry. Some of us were participating for the first time. Others, like Jeff and Annie Bowman, have made this part of an annual tradition. This year was Jeff’s 28th Gulf Coast Triathlon.
One of the biggest changes made to the race this year was the venue. Previously held at the same site as Ironman Florida, the race went back to its original location, Edgewater Beach Resort. The accommodations were convenient, clean, and the view was spectacular. Packet pick-up and the larger more improved expo were also located on the property. The swim start, bike transition, and finish line were located in the parking lot of the resort and the awards ceremony was held on the beach side of the property around the huge pool area.
They also made some changes to the bike course, the bike was still an out-and-back, and it still crossed the bridge going out and coming back in, but two turn-offs instead of one, took racers down Pinelog Road and then Steelfield Road. Coming back into town was still a little dicey, as Charles Dickerson can attest, as he was hit by a car on Front Beach Road. Sustaining mild injuries, Charles soldiered on to complete the last mile of the bike and the 13.1 mile run.
The run was…well…really, really hot. Fortunately, there were aid stations at every mile marker with a few in between and the volunteers made sure there was plenty of ice, Ice water, ice sponges, and an assortment of Coke, Gatorade, oranges, bananas, and sun screen. At the 7 mile turn-around, a police officer was heard remarking that it was 112 degrees on the pavement.
Congratulations to all of the Gulf Wind Tri Club Triathletes who competed in the May 9, 2015 “Gulf Roast.”
Richard Oberlin (4th 35-39), Jon Nash, Jamie Harris (3rd 35-39), Jamilla Allen (4th 25-29), Lori Abbey (5th 45-49), Stephanie Aanstoos, Stephanie Clemons, Geoff Likens, Theo Sullivan, Renee Edwards, Becky Cahill, Summer Robinson (4th 20-24), Jen Barton, Bill Dillon, Elisa Lutz (4th Athena), Clement Allen, Michael Stiles, Kelli Dillon, Nicole Benson(5th Athena), Keith Rowe, Carrie (CJ) Jones, and Charles Dickerson.
Stephanie Liles-Weyant (1st 40-44), Mike Weyant (1st 50-54), Jimmy Bolen, Judith Kent, Joanne Maltese, Aidan Abbey (1st 10-14), Shelly Duffy, Adrienne Ruhl, and Brian Dupree.
Capital City Runners- Jon Nash, John Manry (2nd Male)
Lungs, Legs, Lunacy- Annie Bowman, Jeff Bowman, Roger Schmidt (1st Mixed)
Can’t Stop Won’t Stop- Tom Findley, John Hunt, Ron Nieto (2nd Masters)