Class of 2015 fundraiser

Athletes put to test in Medomak Valley Triathlon

Tough, hilly finish for third annual event; Daigneault, Robbins fastest
By Ken Waltz | Aug 25, 2014
Photo by: Ken Waltz Participants race into Seven Tree Pond at the start of the third annual Medomak Valley Triathlon staged in and around Ayer Park Aug. 23 in Union.

Union — Everything about the third annual Medomak Valley Triathlon was idyllic — the setting at Ayer Park, the picture perfect late-summer weather with relatively low humidity and nary a ripple on Seven Tree Pond.

But, of course, there was one problem. Or make that one final challenge for the 31 hardy souls who decided to make the quarter-mile swim, 13-mile bike ride and 3.2-mile run.

Namely, participants had to finish the run portion of the triathlon by climbing the area's "Heartbreak Hill."

Ayer Hill looms large across from Ayer Park and longtime Medomak Valley High School cross-country coach George Gould, who has seen his share of hills, said the 2/10ths of a mile stretch of road, with about a 300-foot elevation, is "brutal," "inhuman" and "inconceivable" to attempt at the end of a triathlon, even a shorter "sprint" triathlon.

But that is what participants did if they wanted to finish the event on Saturday morning, Aug. 23.

Click for photos from this story.

The event was a fundraiser for the Medomak Valley High School Class of 2015.

Adam Daigneault, 34, finished first overall in one hour, one minute and 45 seconds. He outdistanced runner-up Tony Dalisio, 31, who finished in 1:06:50. Kelly Robbins, 51, was the first individual female finisher in 1:24:31.

“It's amazing how quickly this race has caught on,” said Susan Jones, advisor for the Class of 2015. “The first year, these kids had just finished their freshman year, and now they're going to be seniors.”

Jones gives much of the credit to Gavin Felch, who has been class president all four years.

“Gavin thought it would be a good fundraiser, but I had my doubts," she said. "Who among us has put together a triathlon? But he was persistent and did a lot of the ground work himself, and here we are three years later.”

She also credits the "fantastic" team of students and parents who have volunteered time and expertise to put together a fun, safe race.

The individual and team results were: 1, Adam Daigneault, 34, 1:01:45; 2, Tony Dalisio, 31, 1:06:50; 3, Joey Casas, 38, 1:08:58; 4, Gavin Felch, 17, 1:09:49; 5, Reuben Begin, 25, 1:10:18; 6, John Begin, 31, 1:15:35; 7, Adam Philbrook, 36, 1:15:44; 8, Rich Warner, 39, 1:18:20; 9, Doug Blasius, 61, 1:19:33; 10, Rene Ruiz, 71, 1:19:34; 11, Wilson's Warriors (Tamra Philbrook, 55, Andrew Cavanaugh, 53), 1:21:55; 12, Kelly Robbins, 51, 1:24;31; 13, Donald Mansius, 55, 1:25:54; 14, Jonathan Ives, 34, 1:26:05; 15, Second Chances (Glen Philbrook, 51, Travis Philbrook, 37, Tuesday Philbrook, 27), 1:31:00; 16, Scott Hibl, 41, 1:32:33; 17, Jessica Ives, 33, 1:34:19; 18, Wayne Ludwig, 55, 1:34:31; 19, Laura Columbia, 26, 1:38:19; 20, Gary Larson, 69, 1:41:47; 21, Mike Griswold, 27, 1:48:32; 22, Zach Bowen, 26, 1:51:21; 23, Mary Beth Moreno, 43, 1:54:55; and 24, Staying Alive (Martha Mitchell, 64, Rosemary Ruiz, 64, Rachelle Horn, 65), 2:03:59.

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