Lake, Deacon are top finishers at Packard Heights Mini-Triathlon

  • Chris Lake, overall winner, was the first competitor to complete the swim portion of Sunday’s mini-triathlon at Packard Pond.  —Greg Vine

  • The first woman out of the water at the end of the swimming leg was Deanna Deacon, also the first female finisher of the Triathlon.  —Greg Vine

  • Participants in the 31st Annual Packard Heights Association Mini-Triathlon test their medals on Sunday following the event. greg lake

  • Spectators line the road to cheer on bike-riders in Sunday’s competition. —Greg Vine

  • Some spectators of the Packard Heights Association Mini-Triathlon had no farther to go than their deck to watch Sunday’s competition.  —Greg Vine

  • Volunteers in kayaks watch over swimmers competing in Sunday’s Packard Pond Association Mini-Triathlon.  —Greg Vine

  • Spectators stand on the beach at Packard Pond, awaiting competitors finishing the swimming leg of the Packard Heights Association Mini-Triathlon, which was held Sunday. Greg Vine

  • Even man’s best friend was on hand to root for a favored athlete in Sunday’s mini-triathlon.  —Greg Vine

  • Mike Zani begins the running portion of Sunday’s triathlon after jumping off his bike at the end of the cycling leg. —Greg Vine

  • Chris Lake, left, and Deanna Deacon were the top finishers in the 31st annual Packard Heights Association Mini-Triathlon on Sunday. Greg Vine

For the Athol Daily News
Published: 8/12/2019 9:50:17 PM

ORANGE — Chris Lake was the overall winner of the 31st annual Packard Heights Association Mini-Triathlon on Sunday. The event was sponsored by Girardi Distributors of Athol and Ames Trophies of Orange.

Deanna Deacon took the gold in the female individual division 46:19, followed by 2nd) Camille Otruba 57:15; 3rd) Amy Loewenthal, 1:29:00.

Only a dozen entrants may have taken part in the event, held at Packard Pond, but there was still plenty of enthusiasm on the part of competitors, volunteers, and spectators.

Temperatures were in the mid-70s, the humidity was low, and a pleasant breeze was blowing as athletes entered the water for the first leg of the competition at 1 p.m.

While entries were down this year, the competition typically attracts anywhere between 20 and 30 athletes. The entry fee was $30.

“Basically, the funds we raise are used to pay the property taxes on the beach, and the insurance,” said Packard Heights Association Vice President Joann Deacon. “This is the 31st year we’ve run the event, and I’ve been involved from the start. We usually start planning around the beginning of June; that’s when I start making the calls and sending out the emails.”

Organizing means, among other things, lining up the dozens of volunteers who help with the event.

“A lot of people from around the lake help out,” said Deacon. “Probably 50 people in all volunteer by the time you figure in the boat patrols, and the pontoon boats, and we have checkpoints every half-mile. And there are people along the course with water and first aid kits.”

The swim portion of the mini-triathlon is two-tenths of a mile (about 800 feet). Athletes then mount their bicycles for 4.2 miles, and conclude the competition with a 2.1-mile run.

In the male division, Chris Lake was first with a time of 34:58; Mike Zani, 2nd, 35:59; Randy Stange, 3rd, 44:55; Jim Maver, 4th, 46:42; Larry O’Toole, 5th, 53:27; and Gideon Alden, 6th, at 57:10.

First Place in the Mixed Teams competition went to Mary Rutzowski, Thomas Deam, and Elizabeth Warden, who finished in 46:27. Meg Ohey, Jane Slarskey and Danika Marascio finished second with a time of 52.10.

Top Female Team honors went to Emma O’Connor and Becky Divoll (48.03).

Chris Lake clocked the best time in the water, finishing the swim in 4:27.

The best time in the cycling leg went to Mike Zani, with a time of 16.52. Zani also captured the Ken Holmes Memorial Award for winning the running portion with a time of 12:23. Dan Gullage presented the award.

Volunteers for the event included: Tom Burke, Norma Belloli, Jean Stone, Deb Blanchard, Derek Estler, Dan Gullage, Laurie and Clay Schmick, Starr Cummings, Charlene and Mark Brazell, Lynn and R.J. Carpenter, Al Deacon, Ingrid and Scott Whitten from Ames Trophy, Marilyn Elwood, Doris and Edward Day, Zack Nottleson, Andrew, Mike, Jeanette Calvi, Charlie Scribner, Steve Gauvin, Jean Marie and Ed Berry, and Race Directors Pennie Smith, Pam Smith and Joann Deacon.

The Packard Heights Association was formed more than 50 years ago to help preserve the pond and the surrounding area.

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