When an event doubles its registration and participation numbers in its second year, in the words of Martha Stewart, "It's a good thing."
The second East Cooper Coastal Triathlon on Sunday did just that as 141 individual triathletes completed the event, which featured a .6-mile ocean swim, a 16-mile bike ride and a five-mile run. That's up from just 68 individual finishers during last year's quickly organized inaugural event, held on an April morning with temperatures in the 40s.
This year's triathlon, featuring considerably better conditions, drew some tough competition for defending male champion Zach Stroud of Charleston, who competed Sunday two weeks after finishing Ironman Arizona in 10 hours, 51 minutes, 32 seconds.
Radek Parnica, a Czech training in Savannah, and Kevin Lisska of Fletcher, N.C., won first and second place overall for males with times of 1:28:13 and 1:28:42. Stroud came in third with a 1:30:34 for males with a time of 1:30:34.
Last year's masters champion (age 40-up), Dawson Cherry, finished fourth overall in 1:32:37, but he didn't get the top masters spot because he was competing in the open/elite division rather than in the masters division. The top male masters honor went to one of Stroud's training buddies, Steve Swaveley, in 1:41:03.
For females, the top three overall finishers are all familiar faces on the local triathlon scene. One, two, three went to Daniel Island's Tracy Dewitt and Charlestonians Sara Kraft and Jana Glover, with times of 1:42:38, 1:42:53 and 1:52:28. The top female masters finisher was Tammy Carey of Kingsland, Ga., in 1:50:43.
Age groups (top male and females): 15-under ? Ethan Ruckel 1:43:44. No female. 16-19 ? Jerry Edelson 2:00:44. No female. 20-24 ? Sean Markham 1:58:38. Lindsay Barnard 1:59:07. 25-29 ? Kurt Wilson 1:37:39. Jamey Hooper 1:57:17. 30-34 ? Dirk Dewitt 1:36:59. Robin O'Connell 1:47:12. 35-39 ? Jim Daniel 1:40:00. Lindsay Agostini 1:44:04. 40-44 ? Danny Moore 1:46:50. Mary Tanner 2:09:30. 45-49 ? Keith Meadows 1:48:56. Suzanne Martin 2:22:02. 50-54 ? Leon Locklear 2:06:52. Christine Case 2:22:22. 55-59 ? Robert Griffith 1:57:29. No female. 60-64 ? Neil Jacobs 2:06:34. No female. 65-69 ? Bill Thomas 2:21:12. No female. 70-99 ? Charles Swanson 3:11:45. No female.
More than 300 cyclists from across the eastern U.S. competed in the Low Country Volkswagen Race Weekend, featuring a series of races on Saturday in I'On in Mount Pleasant and the S.C. Criterium Championships on Sunday at Hampton Park.
According to Low Country Volkswagen team member and race organizer Rob DeFoor, locals who won gold medals Sunday were Brian Hackathorne (men's category 3), Jane West (women's category 4) and Pete Floyd (masters age 65+). Brice McGehee won a silver medal (juniors, 15-18).
DeFoor said a $12,000 prize purse attracted some big teams, including Hincapie Sports, Subaru Cycling, Toyota United, and Outdoor Lights/Nerac. "Finishing sprint speeds topped 40 mph and rain played mayhem, causing a few crashes," said DeFoor.
A larger-than-usual crowd from the Charleston area ? 26 runners ? completed the 110th Boston Marathon on April 17.
South Carolina's top finisher, Mike Aiken of Mount Pleasant, finished in 2:41:50 ? 164th overall ? after setting a blistering pace at the start and fading at the end. In the marathon, Aiken ran his first 5K in 16:58, his first 10K in 34:09 and his first half marathon in 1:13:12. By comparison, his second half was an unpleasant 1:28:38. His final mile took more than nine minutes.
"I was probably passed by a 100 people in the last 5K," he said.
Upstart local Hudson Belk of Charleston also put in a sub-3 at Boston, finishing in 2:53:41 for 557th place. Last year, Belk finished his first Boston in 3:07:12.
The first local female at Boston was Karen Courington of Charleston, who finished 6,462nd overall with a time of 3:31:18.
Other local results: Hudson, Paul Keeley, Charleston, 3:01:11; Mason Ferratt, Chas., 3:01:12; William Whiteside, Chas., 3:03:14; Jody Mcauley, Mount Pleasant, 3:15:25; Bratton Fennell, MtP, 3:15:56; Tom Woodall, Chas., 3:23:14; Stephen Hughes, Chas., 3:25:10; David Renneisen, Goose Creek, 3:31:48; Thomas Mcgorty, GC, 3:33:28; Debra Hernandez, Isle of Palms, 3:33:59; Andreas Pietras, Chas., 3:35:16; Marie Sauer, Chas., 3:38:19; Truitt Helms, MtP, 3:43:09; Daniel Clapper, North Charleston, 3:45:19; Carla Stanley, Chas., 3:46:29; Melanie Stuart, GC, 3:50:43; Lara Adams, Chas., 3:56:17; Thomas Dority, Chas., 4:10:39; Patricia Kotila, Johns Island, 4:15:15; Katherine Owens, Summerville, 4:17:30; Peter Bleyer, MtP, 4:22:58; Kay Chandler, IOP, 4:37:25; David Pardus, MtP, 4:39:31.
TODAY ? The Charleston Running Club will meet for a social at 7 p.m. at Red's Ice House.
SATURDAY ? 28th Palmetto Rural Telephone Company Rice Run and Walk. 8 a.m. Walterboro. www.ricefestival.org/ricerun.
SUNDAY ? Daniel Island Duathlon. 8 a.m. Bishop England High School, Daniel Island. 5K run/20-mile bike/5K run . Register at www.active.com. Call 853-9987 for more information.