A husband and wife duo dominated the first-ever Let 'r Tri triathlon on Sunday, running, biking and swimming their way to victory in the sprint and Olympic triathlons.
Corrin Graybeal, of Pendleton, won the Olympic triathlon - swimming 1500 meters, cycling 24.2 miles and running six miles in 2:20:09. Her husband Jason Graybeal got the top time in the sprint triathlon. He swam 500 meters, biked 12 miles and ran three miles in 1:15:09.
The event also included a duathlon with running and biking legs. Some athletes competed as teams in both triathlons.
Athletes started by swimming laps in the Olympic-sized city pool at the Pendleton Aquatic Center. After jumping on their bikes, they proceeded to Northgate (Holdman Highway) and started pedaling the steep grade, which leveled to a slight, but steady incline. Reversing, they streaked back to the high school, where they put on their running shoes. The course took runners along the Pendleton River Parkway.
Corrin, 27, said her time of 2:20:09 is about 11 minutes slower than her fastest time ever. She attributed some of the difference to the bike portion of the event.
"When you're climbing to Holdman, your time is bound to be a little slower, even though you're flying on the way down," she said.
The triathlete, who travels to Portland, Seattle, Bend and other locations to triathlons, loved having one in her own backyard. She knew other athletes and most of the spectators.
"There were young kids from Pendleton who did their first races," she said. "It's fun to see their excitement."
She found the course challenging, yet traffic-free and spectator-friendly. Spectators could watch swimmers complete laps, climb on their bikes, return, start running and finish all from the same vicinity.
For an extra glimpse, spectators could take a short walk across the Bedford Bridge to the river walk.
Corrin, who did her first triathlon four years ago, convinced her husband Jason to try a sprint triathlon acouple of years ago. The Pendleton event is only his fourth triathlon ever.
Joe Escudero runs across the Bedford Bridge toward the finish line of the sprint triathlon. He came in second with a time of 1:29:32.
Staff photo by Kathy AneyJason started out with a good lead after swimming, but Joe Escudero made a move during the cycling portion and had Jason looking over his shoulder for the rest of the race.
"Joe's in great shape," Jason said, "He caught me on the bike ridebut he couldn't quite get me."
Kristin Dunlap was the first female sprint finisher. Greg Schalberg won the duathlon, with the first female finisher Kristin Mackenzie three minutes behind.
Let 'er Tri results:
Sprint Triathlon: Jason Graybeal, 1:15:09; Joe Escudero, 1:23:09; Kristin Dunlap 1:26:29; Brigit Farley,1:29:18; Tammy Tangney, 1:29:32; Carolyn Thompson, 1:35:34; Tom Kirchner,1:36:52; Charity Murphy, 2:00:30; Becky Cary, 2:00:58; Florence Kirchner, 2:22:38.
Sprint Triathlon Team: Cory Dallman and Norm Stewart,1:17:23.
Cory Dallman glides through water in the first leg of the first-ever Let'r Tri triathlon. Dallman teamed with Norm Stewart to complete the sprint event in 1:17:23.
Staff photo by Kathy AneyOlympic Triathlon: Corrin Graybeal, 2:20:09; Evan McKenzie, 3:08:43.
Olympic Triathlon Teams: Jacob Peterson, Austin Dennis, Nichole Stewart, 2:33:41; Blair Cross, Mike Fiore, Joe Baum, 2:58:04.
Olympic Duathlon: Greg Schalberg, 2:15:03; Kristin Mackenzie, 2:18:24; Sorrel Ward, 2:34:24.
Melissa Griffin, organizer of the Let'r Tri triathlon/duathlon, said the inaugural event went off with only a few hitches. When one competitor missed a turn during the bike portion, that bothered Griffin, but, other than that, she is happy.
"We started on time. There were no flat tires - no accidents," she said. "We'll do this again."
If Griffin gets her way, hundreds of triathletes will converge on Pendleton en masse on May 31. Eventually, Griffin hopes the event will be a national qualifier triathlon.
Jason Graybeal gave the event his stamp of approval.
"For the first year, they did a really good job - they had everything ironed out," he said. "It can only get better from here."
Event sponsors included Thompson RV, Dobyns-Hart Pest Control, Graybeal Insurance, PGG, Hallman & Dretke Attorneys at Law, Wildhorse Resort & Casino, Yellowhawk Tribal Casino, DG Gifts and the Roundup Athletic Club.