Elite racer Adam Jensen wins Beaver Lake Triathlon

August 21, 2008

By J.B. Wogan

 

Audrey Baldessari, of Redmond, was the first woman to cross the finish line. This is her second consecutive win. Photo by Greg Farrar

Audrey Baldessari, of Redmond, was the first woman to cross the finish line. This is her second consecutive win. Photo by Greg Farrar

Benjamin Bigglestone, 35, shaved nine seconds from his time, but it wasn’t enough to win the Beaver Lake Triathlon again.

The Newcastle resident¬†finished Sammamish’s sprint triathlon – a .25-mile swim, 13.8-mile bike and 4.3-mile run – in 1 hour, 9 minutes and 28 seconds Aug. 16.

He came in third behind two elite runners who did not compete in last year’s triathlon. The first was Adam Jensen, 28, of Seattle, who clocked in at 1:06:39. Michael Gordon of Kirkland, 30, ran a 1:07:28 race.

Elite refers to a competitor’s skill level. It is a official category in triathlons.

“These guys are a level above me. I’m just a humble age grouper,” said Bigglestone, who won last year’s race in 1:09:37.

This year’s competitors changed the dynamic for Bigglestone.

“It added a different dimension for me. I wanted to finish in the front for the swim.”

Bigglestone came close, finishing as the second man out of the water, torpedoing through the race’s first leg in 5:49.

Gordon was a second behind, positioned at third after the water with a swim time of 5:50. Jensen hung back, finishing sixth in 6:05 as the bike began.

The eventual top three jockeyed for position in the triathlon’s next two legs, with Jensen taking first in the bike in 34:17, Gordon taking third in 35:30 and Bigglestone just a hair behind in 35:39.

From there, Jensen managed to keep his lead by finishing fifth in the run in a time of 24:41.

Originally from Missoula, Mont., Jensen relocated to Seattle for dental school at the University of Washington. He said he has competed in half triathlons – usually a 1.2-mile run, 56-mile bike and 13.1-mile run – in Oregon and British Columbia earlier this summer.

“I just could not get going on the run,” complained Gordon after the race. In spite of his disappointment, Gordon did maintain a 5:38 pace and finished second in the run in 24:26.

Gordon celebrated his second-place result the day before his 30th birthday Aug. 17.

No Sammamish person finished first in any of the three legs, but Drew Magill, 43, placed fifth overall. His time was 1:11:46. Magill also won the Issaquah sprint triathlon and Whidbey Island sprint triathlons earlier this summer.

The winning streak ended in Magill’s backyard, but he appeared unperturbed.

“These three guys are incredible dudes, plus they’re younger dudes,” he said. Magill added that the race itself had improved from the previous year. The angle of the swim route had altered slightly, with racers emerging from the water away from tree roots that caused some toe injuries in 2007.

A blistering hot weekend, with highs in the low 90s, also caught Magill’s attention.

“This was probably the warmest year,” he said.

The top woman was Audrey Baldessari, 42, of Redmond, with a time of 1:17:01. She won the race last year as well.

She observed that the elite women typically do not race in the Beaver Lake Triathlon, in part because Seattle’s Danskin Triathlon is scheduled on the same weekend.

“I prefer co-ed and I live close by,” Baldessari said. “And I liked the hill on the bike.”

The best finish by a Sammamish woman was Johnna Koenig, 28, who took fifth overall in 1:22:42. 

Sammamish’s Mathieu Signoretty, 18, was first in the 16-19 age division with a time of 1:21:57. He was 45th among men overall.

Josephine Morlidge, also from Sammamish, finished first in her age group. Morlidge, 13, was the first and only girl 15 years or younger. She finished in 2:06:08. William Foreman of Duvall was the only other 13-year-old who finished the race. His time was 2:29:40.

Reporter J.B. Wogan can be reached 392-6434, ext. 27, or jbwogan@isspress.com.

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