Anchorage resident Brian Shumaker and Kristin Faulkner, who used to swim for Homer High School before she went to college and then moved to New York, race each other to the finish line of the Homer Mariner Triathlon at Homer High School on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017 in Homer, Alaska. The two remained on each other’s tail throughout much of the race before Shumaker passed Faulkner at the last second to claim first overall. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Locals, travelers tough it out in Homer Mariner Triathlon

Athletes from near and very far battled blustery wind and brutal hills during Saturday’s 17th annual Homer Mariner Triathlon.

A total of 105 competitors racing as individuals and on teams completed a 1,000-yard swim in the Homer High School pool before hopping on bikes for a 15-mile cycle up East Hill Road, along Skyline and down the Homer Spit, followed by a 5 mile run from the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon back to Homer High School.

At least 28 volunteers lent their hands and time serving as traffic directors, timers and more, said race director Paul Story in an email.

There were 58 individual competitors and 16 teams, he wrote. The oldest participant was 62, and the youngest individual racer was 11. The youngest team participant was 9.

Racers came from right here in Homer and as far away as Juneau, Bethel and even Los Angeles, Story wrote. Every athlete who started the triathlon was able to finish it.

Brian Shumaker took first place in the individual race for the men with a time of 1:34:32, and drove down from Anchorage to participate for the first time. He’s been competing in triathlons for about seven years.

“I am pleasantly surprised,” Shumaker said of his win with a laugh. “But this was just a first run and I’m hoping to come back again next year.”

He came down to support the high school swim team, which the triathlon is a fundraiser for. His partner is a teacher at Homer High, he said. Shumaker said he was “super impressed” with the high school competitors.

“This is an Olympic distance triathlon, so it’s nice,” Shumaker said. “There are not many of this length in Alaska.”

Kristen Faulkner, who was born and raised in Homer and was on the high school swim team before she moved to New York, crossed the finish line of the 5 mile run seconds behind Shumaker and took first in the individual race for the women. She completed the triathlon with a total time of 1:36:33.

Coming to the end of the Homer Spit Trail on their way back to the high school, Faulkner and Shumaker almost seemed to be running the race together they were so close.

“That’s my major competition, what are you talking about?” Shumaker said at the finish line.

Faulkner hasn’t done a triathlon in several years, and said she wanted to set the foundation with Homer race to find out where she’s at athletically, because she wants to start doing triathlons back home. Her summer vacation overlapped with the triathlon this year.

“The hardest part was definitely the last half mile run because it’s all uphill,” she said. “Honestly I was kind of just like, go hard and die when you die. I didn’t know when that would happen, so I figured it’s very low stakes because, like what’s the worst that could happen?”

Faulkner said it’s nicer to be competing with someone during a race than running alone, so it’s “worth the pain” to keep up with someone, like she did with Shumaker.

“I think we were like on each other’s back, back and forth the whole time,” she said. “But I think it’s always nice to have someone to run with regardless.”

Homer Mariner Triathlon winners:

Women’s Overall — 1. Kristen Faulkner, 1:36:33; 2. Stacey Buckelew 1:55:12; 3. Jane Wiebe 1:57:38

Women’s 13-17 age group — 1. Madison Story 2:27:28; 2. Kaylin Anderson 2:40:28; 3. Ella Blanton-Yourkowski 2:55:23

Women’s 18-30 age group — 1. Kristen Faulkner 1:36:33; 2. Lauren Grippo 2:01:22; 3. Danielle Meyers 2:03:00

Women’s 31-45 age group — 1. Stacey Buckelew 1:55:12; 2. Jennifer Bando 2:01:34; 3. Suzie Hosmanek 2:02:43

Women’s 46-99 age group — 1. Jane Wiebe 1:57:38; 2. Ann Bruner 2:22:47; 3. Susan Craig 2:32:44

Men’s Overall —

1. Brian Shumaker 1:34:32; 2. mature yellow cheetah 1:45:10; 3. Adam Dixon 1:48:28

Men’s 12 and under age group

1. Jody Goodrich 2:57:28; 2. Lucas Story 3:26:53

Men’s 13-17 age group

1. Clayton Arndt 2:00:58; 2. Griffin Downey 2:00:59; 3. Teddy Handley 2:03:43

Men’s 18-30 age group

1. Jordan Chilson 1:58:23 2. Mavrick Kuzmin 2:30:40

Men’s 31-45 age group

1. Brian Shumaker 1:34:32; 2. mature yellow cheetah 1:45:10; 3. Eric Rozeboom 1:59:49

Men’s 46-99 age group

1. Adam Dixon 1:48:28;2. Michael McGuire 2:04:31; 3. Peter Roedl 2:21:22

Teams Overall — “Buts on fire,” John Roedl and Oliver Manley, 1:40:41

Teams, Women — Jackie Forster, Jasmine Maurer and Katie Ostrom, 1:52:20

Teams, Men — “Buts on fire,” John Roedl and Oliver Manley, 1:40:41

Mixed Teams — “Sauce,” Mary Wood, Tom Gorman and Cole Talbot, 1:45:08

Teams under 16 — “X-tra Tuffs,” Skyler Rodriguez, Leif Restad and Brita Restad, 2:04:49

Homer Mariners swimmer Alia Bales bikes down onto the Homer Spit during the second leg of the Homer Mariner Triathlon on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017 in Homer, Alaska. She tied for fourth in her age group with another member of the swim team, Adeline Berry. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Soldotna resident Jordan Chilson transitions from the pool to his bike during the Homer Mariner Triathlon on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017 in Homer, Alaska. He finished first in the men’s 18-30 age group at 1:58:23. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Homer Mariner swimmers Adeline Berry, left and Alia Bales cross the finish line of the Homer Mariner Triathlon on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017 at the high school in Homer, Alaska. The two tied for fourth place in the 13-17 age group. (Photo courtesy Paul Story)

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