The Junior Tri VI committee, a subgroup of the Virgin Islands Triathlon Federation (VITF), hosted a run/bike/run event on Sunday, May 30, which brought out 46 participants and their families. The Silly Sockathlon was open to junior athletes of all abilities, ages 5 through 15.
Race director Theresa Harper said, “We knew that everyone was itching to have safe fun outdoors, and we wanted to host an event before school ended, summer plans were made and travel began.”
Many first-time participants, as well as “veteran” athletes, took part in the early morning event at Susana Santana Ocasio Park in Gallows Bay. Each competitor received a goody bag filled with a pair of colorful socks, snacks and a finisher’s ribbon.
The 5-6 category was the first to toe the line for their ¼-mile run, ½-mile bike and ¼-mile run. All seven athletes were competing for the first time. Dane Whitworth was out of the blocks very quickly and was the first to mount the bike after the run.
Tuf Donohoo caught up to him on the bike loop, but Dane surged ahead again and finished the second run just over a minute ahead, with a time of 9:53. Tuf finished in a solid second place while Emmitt Moore was third. Caitlin Kuczynski finished just behind Emmitt as the first-place female in a time of 11:38. Charley Gay was second; Zinnia Barry was third.
The 7-8 category began with the same ¼-mile run but increased the distance on the bike to 1 mile and the second run to a ½ mile. Most runners came through the first leg as a pack, but the 1-mile bike ride separated the field a bit. Hudson Mirocha held a lead from start to finish, but newcomer Patrick Gilbert was trailing behind very closely and finished in second place by under one minute. Kehl Mercer made his presence known with a third-place finish. Emma Whitworth was the third-place finisher overall and the first-place female. Hazel Gilbert and Nora Kammerzelt rounded out the podium with second place and third place, respectively.
The largest group of the morning was 9-11 category. With 23 participants on the starting line, Weston Wagner jumped at the sound of “Go!” and put himself in a leading position. Ridley Smith and Cole Cullinan were on his heels in the 1/2-mile run, separated by only seconds. Kai Tanguay hammered the 1-mile bike portion and added himself to the mix. With Weston’s strong lead, he crossed the finish line in 14:56. Kai held on to second place through the second 1/2-mile run. Cole finished in third place.
Priscila Sharmouj proved her running strength on the first leg of the race when she hopped on the bike in 6th place overall. Her strong bike ride, followed by a consistent second run, earned her the gold position. Just over a minute behind was the place finisher Harper Wagner. While others were struggling on the second run and began to walk, Ava Whitworth dug deep and continued running to finish in third place.
The smallest group took on the longest distance of the event: 1/2-mile run, 3-mile bike and a 1-mile run. These four athletes have been competing together for many years and have demonstrated that consistency is the key. It helps that they all think this type of activity is fun. Mason Lambert led the race from start to finish. His sister, Kirra, teamed up with Cole Sommer as a pacing buddy, until she pulled ahead on the final run. Helen Collins, the youngest of the group, held her own for a proud finish.
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