After a two-year hiatus, the Virgin Islands Triathlon Federation (VITF) brought back one of its favorite races: Beast of the East 5K and Triple Mini Triathlon.
Sunday morning began early with the Beast of The East 5K, which started at Cramer’s Park, climbed the rolling hills to the Millennium Monument, then returned to park for a downhill finish. Good Hope Country Day School (GHCDS) junior Dominic Pugliese was the first to finish the challenging run. His time was 19:44. Fresh off of yesterday’s win in the Run to Your Library 5K, Joe Noonan was second in 20:11. Fifth grader Mason Lambert, who also ran in the Run to Your Library race, crossed the line with his mom to become the third-place winner.
The first-place female, Megan Lambert, cruised in with a time of 23:28; Shari Bashaw was second; Catherine Seguin was third. In total, nine men and seven women conquered the Beast of the East.
As if the climb up Point Udall wasn’t impressive enough, seven of those Beast 5K runners also signed up for the race that followed – a triple mini triathlon – when athletes competed in a short swim, bike and run three times. While several triathletes arrived at the conclusion of the 5K with fresh legs, all 13 took to the starting line on the beach at the same time. Athletes ran down the beach where they entered the water for a point-to-point 200-meter swim; then they hopped on their bikes for another trip to the top of Point Udall; then went on a .5-mile run within Cramer’s Park.
Teammates Dom and Mikey Dizon-Bumann went head to head for the first two laps until Dom broke away on the third bike leg. Dom was ahead by over one minute, then he opened up the gap on the final run to finish one minute 15 seconds ahead of Mikey with a time of 58:50. Mikey was second and Wayne Nichols, who is nearly four times older than the teens, was third in 1:10:52.
The female winner of the Beast 5K was also the female winner of the Triple Mini Triathlon. Megan Lambert mentioned last week that she “wasn’t ready” to do all three laps of the mini triathlon but proved herself wrong by turning out three pretty consistent lap splits. Her overall time was 1:23:24. Although she couldn’t shift into her lowest gear while climbing, Shari Bashaw came in with a smile on her face and talked about how much fun she had. She finished second in 1:31:51. Renee Sweaney, accompanied by her bodyguard for the entire (Randy Nielsen), was third.
Good Hope classmates Kaeden Gleason and Mason Lambert completed all three legs of the triathlon with determination. The two fifth graders were a steady distance apart until the second lap when Kaeden leaped forward a few minutes ahead of Lambert. Kaeden finished all three laps in 1:12:32; Mason crossed the line in 1:25:25.
A special category was named for the ambitious athletes who ran the 5K then completed all three laps of the mini triathlon — Fit For Four. With a combined time of the 5K and the three laps, Pulgiese was the winner in a time of 1:18:34. Young Gleason was second in 1:37:26; Wayne Nichols was third in 1:44:33.
The next event hosted by the VITF will be the Grand Finale Junior Triathlon at 8 a.m., Sunday, April 22, at Cramer’s Park. It will be the final event in the Junior Tri VI series until the fall.
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