LAKE GEORGE — Matthew Guenter was cheering on runners at the 13th annual Lake George Triathlon on Saturday as they were transitioning from the 24.8-mile bike to the 6.2-mile run that had a grueling hill just ahead.
Guenter, however, was in a unique position as he already completed the race nearly 10 minutes earlier.
The first-place competitor was quick to finish as he had a time of 1:58:14. The second-place racer was Darren Brown of East Weymouth, Massachusetts, who finished at 2:06:16.
After Guenter crossed the finish line, he focused on the team aspect of triathlon.
“I have been an athlete for most of my life and something that really draws me to triathlon is the camaraderie between me and my teammates, me and everybody else on the course,” he said. “It’s mainly a competition against yourself and it’s a mental competition.”
The Penn State senior from Reading, Pennsylvania, began competing in triathlons just last year. He was on the university’s swim team, though swimming is only .9 miles of the 31.9-mile event.
“I had a really solid swim; I really stuck in the pack,” said Guenter, who studies aerospace engineering. “I went after it on the bike and tried to run hard on the last leg there and have fun.”
Guenther, like 62 other competitors, were in the race categorized as NECTC or Northeast Collegiate Triathlon Conference. Other runners not associated with a university ran in either a relay, aquabike (biking and running) or Olympic race.
South Glens Falls was proudly represented by Isabella Dickens, who was the first woman to finish with a time of 2:23:18 which was 26th in the Olympic race.
“It felt fantastic,” Dickens said. “I am really excited and it has been a goal of mine to win the Lake George Triathlon.”
Kevin Crossman, a professional triathlon trainer in the area, has helped Dickens. The South Glens Falls runner has been competing for 11 years and her first triathlon was Lake George’s in 2007.
New York City’s Christopher Ruchford placed 19th overall and 13th in the Olympic race with a time of 2:15:22. The 39-year-old has been running triathlons for 10 years.
“What can be better than starting your Labor Day weekend at a beautiful venue? It’s a privilege,” he said of Lake George.
Ruchford said he felt good throughout the race. It was his first time running in Lake George.
The total number of racers could not be tallied as the scoring website had many same-name multiples that would have ran the number higher.
The Big George Triathlon, a 70.3-mile event, begins at 7 a.m. Sunday at Battlefield Park.
The scenic views helped make Lake George’s triathlon stick out and receive high complements.
“I will try to come back because this is the most well-run race I have ever done; most beautiful race I have ever done,” Guenter said. “It’s a challenging course, which is nice.”
To see the full list of scores, go to bit.ly/2N5ZAsp and select the race category to your interest.