Sept. 1, 2003 The scorching summer heat was definitely a factor in Monday's Love City Triathlon, but when the last sweating participants passed the duct tape finish line by the Coral Bay fire station, Kent Bradbury of St. Croix was first for the men and Louise DePuy of St. John took first for the women.
"The swim was great, the run was hot, and I had a tough bike ride in the middle," Bradbury said, barely breathing hard after finishing the run.
A chemical engineer at Hovensa, Bradbury, 37, said he was in good shape for the event since he just completed the Lake Placid Ironman triathlon in July in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. The Ironman includes a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and a full marathon 26.2 miles.
Bradbury had finished second in Love City last year behind David Jones, but Jones has moved off island and was not in the race.
Jeff Miller was the second man to finish. A frequent participant in this event as well as other athletic events around the island, Miller, 42, said his age made it harder and harder to stay in shape.
"You're supposed to train smarter," he said.
He said that when he was younger, he relied on sheer brawn to get him through, but that attribute is becoming a memory.
Louise DePuy repeated her last year's victory to capture first place for the women. At 34, DePuy has youth on her side, but she said this was the most difficult race she has ever run.
"It's hot," said DePuy, who works as the controller at Maho Bay Camps.
She said she got off to a bad start with a poor swim, and that weighed on her mind as she biked and then ran the course.
Theresa Harper, a 37-year-old Country Day School teacher, said she raced to her second place finish despite a case of bronchitis.
"The whole thing was hard," she said, noting that the hills were especially difficult for the biking segment.
She said it was her slowest run ever. She also placed second last year.
The event began with a half-mile swim at Big Maho Bay. A14-mile bike ride followed from Big Maho Bay to Cruz Bay along the North Shore Road and from Cruz Bay to Coral Bay along Centerline Road. Competitors finished up with a four-mile run north along East End Road starting at the Coral Bay fire station.
A total of 16 men, five women and nine relay teams participated.
St. Croix flew home with the inter-island award.
While the winners get the accolades, others come out just for the fun of it. St. John contractor Paul Fredsell, 50, said he participates in the relay event just for the community spirit.
Indeed, Miller also mentioned that the event wouldn't happen without community support. He said that businesses that help make the event possible are asked all the time for support, so they deserve accolades, too.
Sponsors are Skinny Legs Bar and Restaurant, Gym in Paradise, Maho Bay Camps, C4th, Seaborne Airlines, and Endurance Sports.
Miller said that this event was unique because many of the people, including himself and DePuy are the organizers as well as competitors.
He also noted that many of the competitors are getting older, but he doesn't see a new generation of competitors on the scene.
"There's a bit of a gap," he said.
Top three finishers:
1. Kent Bradbury, St. Croix, 1:44:57.
2. Jeff Miller, St. John, 1:48:11.
3. Steve Burkholder, St. John, 1:58:04.
1. Louise DePuy, St. John, 1:56:27.
2. Theresa Harper, St. Croix, 1:58:33.
3. Kathie McMurtrie, St. John, 2:03:29.
1. Alex Bradbury, Jamie Keyes, Hillman Johnson, St. Croix, 1:41:19.
2. Shelly Anderson, Sue Brown, Rachel Witty, St. Croix, 1:43:23.
3. Tory Lane, Paul Fredsell, Hank Slodden, St. John, 1:51:55.
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