Gorge athletes shine at 25th Aluminum Man

The 25th Annual Aluminum Man Triathlon and Duathlon drew nearly 200 athletes to The Dalles Saturday morning. With prime conditions — relatively cool, sunny and no wind — the event featured an Olympic triathlon, an Olympic duathlon and a Sprint triathlon based from The Dalles Waterfront Park.

Among the throngs of spandex and lycra-laden competitors were several dozen from the greater Gorge area, and about 25 representing the Columbia Gorge Triathlon Club.

CGTC members Patrick Hiller and Patti Boyd topped the list of overall men and women finishers on the Olympic course (1K swim, 40K bike, 10K run), with Hiller finishing second among a field of 60 men and Boyd winning the womens race out of 22 competitors and finishing 24th in the overall field.

“Traditionally, this event has been the pinnacle of the organized club’s season,” said Mark Ribkoff of the CGTC. “It is in our back yard so we try to put our best foot forward and get as many people in it as we can.”

This year the club, which practices regularly all summer mainly out of the Hood River marina, saw about a dozen of its members win their age divisions or finish in the top 10 overall in their event.

“This is the first year the club had our own team kit,” Ribkoff said. “We really came together as an official team this year; it was great. And it didn’t matter how well anyone placed, we were there to have fun and cheer each other on.”

Ribkoff said that although this is the last official event of the season for most club members, there’s still the club’s annual “Backyard Half Iron-Man” early next month, which, he explains, is an unofficial and agonizing race consisting of roughly a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike and 12-mile run.

Leading the club’s list of top placers were Hiller and Boyd, Rutger Engbersen, Jason Whitley, Brian McGreene and Jennifer Wardell, all of whom placed in the top 10 overall in the Olympic event. Stefanie Cohen and Kathleen Welland, of White Salmon and Parkdale, were also top-10 finishers in the women’s division.

In the sprint event (750-meter swim, 20K bike ride and a 5K run), 16-year-old Nils Engbersen and 15-year-old David Walker represented CGTC with second and fourth place overall finishes out of a field of 109, while Jeff Rippey, Dale Walker and Joshua Grosserhode, all listing Hood River as their hometown, finished in the top 10 overall in the event.

For complete results see www.racecenter.com/aluminumman. Anyone interested in joining the CGTC can keep tab on its activities and group workouts on its Facebook page; just search Columbia Gorge Tri Club.

Gorge-area resident highlights:

Olympic Triathlon:

Men top 10 overall:

2nd: Patrick Hiller, 36, 2:20:29, Hood River

3rd: Rutger Engbersen, 48, 2:23:06, Hood River

7th: Jason Whitley, 35, 2:26:37, The Dalles

10th: Bryan McGreeney, 34, 2:27:26, Hood River

Women top 10 overall:

1st: Patti Boyd, 43, 2:41:36, White Salmon

4th: Jennifer Wardell, 45, 2:43:49, Hood River

7th: Stefanie Cohen, 37, 2:55:37, White Salmon

9th: Kathleen Welland, 48, 2:56:00, Parkdale

Local teams, top finishers:

1st: Rogue (Christopher Dirks, Tony Dirks, Brandon Harris), 2:18:25, Hood River

2nd: Team KGM (Kurt Evans, Mark McCavie, Greg Gustafson), 2:21:21, The Dalles

3rd: Hot D.A.M. (Dana Reid, Angela Drause, Melissa Rooney), 2:46:07, Hood River

Sprint Triathlon:

Men top 10 overall:

2nd: Nils Engbersen, 16, 1:09:13, Hood River

4th: David Walker, 15, 1:11:18, Hood River

6th: Jeff Rippey, 56, 1:12:58, Hood River

8th: Dale Walker, 49, 1:14:24, Hood River

9th: Joshua Grosserhode, 20, 1:15:29, Hood River

Women top 10 overall:

6th: Heidi Engbersen, 50, 1:24:32, Hood River

9th: Jodi Ready, 42, 1:26:58, Hood River

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