June 12, 2019 — Clear skies and good turnout greeted the Oregon Dunes Triathlon and Duathlon for its annual race, which is hosted by Dunes City and Best in the West, with sponsorship by Three Rivers Casino.
The race, which attracts racers of all ages, was separated into two events — the triathlon, which includes swimming, cycling and running, and the duathlon, which has cycling and two running courses.
The triathlon began in Woahink Lake, where sprint participants swam .5 miles and Olympic participants swam .93 miles. Next on the course was the bike race, which snaked through the scenic country streets of Dunes City. The course covered 24.8 miles for the Olympic contenders and 12.4 miles for the sprinters.
Finally, the athletes ran on foot through Jessie M. Honeyman State Park, with Olympic runners traversing 6.2 miles and sprinters running 3.1 miles — ending in a grueling climb up a tall dune, where participants were greeted by a cheering crowd and the finish time.
16-year-old Kellar Norland towered over his competition in the Sprint Triathlon, the main triathlon event, taking first place with a time of 1:00:01. Second place went to 31-year-old Christopher Funch at 1:03:26.
Norland’s domination was evident throughout all three events, starting with the swim competition, where he completed with a time of 9:46 time, compared to Funch’s 12:09. Norland was the only swimmer in the top 10 to finish in under 10 minutes. From there, the teen didn’t slow down for the bike race, coming in at 29:37 — and again first among the top 10. In fact, Norland was the only cyclist to break to 30-minute barrier, with the second-best time going to Funch at 30:16.
Norland slowed down slightly for the run — but only slightly — crossing the finish in 19:34 for the second-best time in the leg; Charles Schauer’s 18:53 topped all times, earning him fourth place in the triathlon overall.
Andrea Cernuda was the fastest female of the event, finishing the course 1:13:59, good for ninth place overall. Her best score was the swim portion, where she finished in 10:55, second place behind Norland.
In the Olympic Triathlon, Aaron Seipel took top male position, finishing the three legs of the race in 2:23:18. Second place went to John Nelson at 2:26:41.
Seipel started out slower in the swim competition, clocking in at 26:43, well below Nelson’s 25:48, but gained momentum in the bike race, coming in at 1:11:51 compared to Nelson’s 1:13:42. In fact, no other top 10 finisher bested Seipel in biking portion. Seipel continued his momentum during the run, crossing the finish line in 43:44, claiming the second-best time among all Olympic runners (Kean Mihata did slightly better with a 42:08 finish).
Bayah Beard was the fastest female in the Olympic Triathlon, finishing with a time of 2:39:10 and eighth overall. Beard edged out Jamie Arvizo by less than two seconds, who finished the race in 2:41:36.
Beard dominated in the swim portion, coming in at 24:43 compared to Arvizo’s 26:38, and even bested overall finisher Seipel’s time of 26:43, which was third best among the top 10. Beard’s biggest challenge was in the biking portion, finishing nearly two minutes behind Arvizo (1:26.27) at 1:28:02. However, once she got off the wheels, Beard was back in top form, finishing the run in 44:19, which was the third best in the top 10.
For full results, visit www.oregondunestriathlon.com.