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Swanton and Ellis Win DU Your Best Duathlon

At the starting line, ‘DU Your Best Duathlon’ athletes

On Sunday morning, the Virgin Islands Triathlon Federation hosted a run/bike/run event under perfect weather conditions. The ‘DU Your Best Duathlon’ brought out veteran triathletes, cyclists and newcomers. With nearly no wind at all, a number of participants were able to improve on their last year’s times by several minutes.  The race started and finished at the Divi Casino parking lot and included a 1-mile run, an out-and-back 14-mile bike, and finished with a 3-mile run.  A shorter option, the Try-A-Du, was half of the full duathlon distance.

Duathlon winner Stephen Swanton

Stephen Swanton led the group right from the start and finished his first 1-mile run in 6:21. Adrian Villalba finished close behind in 6:59 but proved to be no match for Elite rider, Swanton, on the bike.  Swanton checked in about six minutes ahead of Villalba off the bike and held the lead to finish in 1:08:57, just over a minute ahead of his personal goal for the day.  Villalba, somewhat new to the sport, finished in a solid second place in a time of 1:16:49.  The long-standing duel between Troy Holloway and Wayne Nichols continued through yesterday’s duathlon.  Those who have watched duathlons and triathlons over the past few years, would have seen these two athletes pushing each other right to the finish line.  It was Wayne Nichols who reached there first, which was good for third place.  He finished in 1:18:38, just five seconds ahead of Troy.

Esther Ellis, duathlon winner

The top three female finishers put themselves “in the mix” right from the start, too.  While Megan Lambert posted the fastest run splits, Catherine Seguin laid down the fastest bike time.  Esther Ellis held consistent, strong splits on the runs and bike, which proved to be the secret of the morning.  Ellis won in a time of 1:19:57. Lambert was second in 1:21:54 and Sequin, fresh off the bike from riding 375 miles over three days in La Vuelta last week in Puerto Rico, was third in 1:22:04. Joe Cherkis teamed up with his wife, Angela, as the lone relay team of the event.

The winner of the small Try-A-Du race was not decided from the start.  Aaron Morales and André Galiber switched positions several times during the race and pressed each other to the finish. Morales, age 16, beat out Galiber by 10 seconds in a time of 45:51.  Joshua Petersen completed his first-ever multi-sport race and rounded out the podium in third place.

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The next race on the VI Triathlete Federation calendar is a new one — a swim/run — at Rainbow Beach on Sunday, March 22.  There will be a Sprint Aquathlon, SA Relay and a Mini.

For more information, call 513-2707.

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