Mark Saroni did it again! Back up to the top step of the podium. Saroni clocked in the fastest times in each discipline at last weekend's Kerrville Triathlon Festival for the Quarter Distance, sealing the deal for the #1 spot. This was the first race in which Saroni had the top time for all three legs. In his words, "Every day we get to line up alongside our teammates and push the body to its limits is a good day."
And there were a lot of teammates at Kerrville this weekend! It was great to see so many Paragon athletes out on the course--encouraging, competing, and suffering with one another. See the list below for all of our teammates who raced! Perhaps most worthy of celebration are the new inductees to triathlon. Michael O'Brien, a high schooler at San Antonio Christian School (SACS), completed his first triathlon when he crossed the Quarter Distance finish line. Also completing his first triathlon with the Quarter was Alberto Rodriguez! Congratulations to our first-timers, and for those that made a big step up to the Quarter: Christian Larsen, also a SACS student, Albert Villarreal, Christian Torres, and Kris Ryan.
In the Half Distance event, I competed along with Ildar Mannapov and Jose Vaquedano. The race turned into a somewhat comical, work-place battle between Mannapov and Vaquedano, both determined not to let the other cross the line first. They started in the same wave and came out of the water about the same time. A gap grew in transition, and Ildar extended it on the bike. But toward the middle of the run, it was clear that Jose was catching up. Ildar started playing mind games. If you know Ildar, you know he would try trickery before he'd try running faster. Hiding in the bushes, running faster in the open areas where Jose could see him, that sort of thing. It was close at the end, within 10 seconds! But official times put Ildar 39 seconds ahead of Jose. Jose had a phenomenal race despite pre-race issues with back pain, and it was his first triathlon - and a Half-Ironman distance at that! The friendly rivalry will be continued...
Saturday, September 29: Kerrville Triathlon Festival
Alfonso Campa: 3rd Age Group, 1:16:27
Jacob Campa: 4th Age Group, 1:23:44
Pablo Bueno: 1:32:00
Paul Wilson: 1:44:51
Sunday, September 30: Kerrville Triathlon Festival
Mark Saroni: 1st Overall, 2:02:52
Kris Ryan: 2:48:34
Alfonso Campa: 2:58:20
Kelly McConie: 9th Age Group, 3:14:11
Christian Larsen: 3rd Age Group, 3:24:11
Kenny Carraway: 3:26:11
Alberto Rodriguez: 3:28:17
Tracy Schuleman: 4th Age Group, 3:30:33
Christian Torres: 3:57:12
Michael O'Brien: 5th Age Group, 4:00:44
Albert Villareal, just missed the cutoff time.
Bryan Knipfer: 10th Age Group, 2:08:39
Alli Koch: 3rd Open Division, 5th Female, 5:18:21
Ildar Mannapov: 2nd Age Group, 5:56:10
Jose Vaquedano: 5:56:49
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San Antonio Triathlon Team - San Antonio Triathlon Coach