Sept. 3, 2006 – Sunday's Love City Triathlon saw a three-peat for Dick Luttekes and a repeat for Theresa Harper, who were the first across the finish line in their respective divisions.
"Next year, I'll train. It will make it easier," Luttekes, 44, said.
A pharmacist from St. Maarten, Luttekes also won the event in 2005 and 2004.
Although he came in fourth in the swim, he won the bicycle and run events to go home with the best combined time.
Luttekes said his natural rhythm makes the run the easiest part.
Harper, a 40-year-old teacher at Country Day School on St. Croix, was coming off an injury that happened when she crashed her bicycle five days before the St. Croix Half Ironman in May. "I was feeling a little sore," she said.
She and many other participants said the early morning rain made the road conditions scary.
"I was trying to duke it out up the hills," she said of the bicycle part of the race.
However, they didn't have to brave a closed lane on the North Shore Road. Jeff Miller, who competed in and helped organize the event, said Betterroads Asphalt Corp. worked hard to finish a patch of road construction so the runners would have easy passage.
The course included a half-mile swim at Maho Bay; a 14-mile bicycle ride running along the North Shore Road to Cruz Bay and via Centerline Road to Annaberg; and a four-mile run that took off and ended at Annaberg.
A total of 72 people overall participated in the individual and relay-team categories. This breaks down to eight women and 22 men in the individual categories and 42 individuals on a dozen relay teams.
While most of the participants made it to the finish line, one cyclist crashed near Trunk Bay on the North Shore Road, injuring his shoulder when he crashed into a guardrail after skidding on the wet pavement.
Race official George Cline, who was manning the radios, said the ambulance transported the man to Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Center.
Cline also said he checked to see that the participants were sweating. "If they're not, they could have heat stroke," he said.
Second place in the men's division went to St. Maarten physician Frits Bus.
Bus, 50, said he was training for the Half Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii. "So I'm in good shape," he said.
Third went to St. John's Matt Crafts, 28, who works as a chef. "I didn't' fall, so that was good," he said, adding that the wet roads slowed everyone down.
Miller, a 45-year-old biologist with V.I. National Park, took fourth in the men's division. "I trained moderately, but as much as I could," he said.
Miller was on hand with words of support when his wife, Jude Woodcock, crossed the finish for a third-place finish in the women's division. "You did great," he said to her.
Woodcock, 50, said that it's taken her three years to come back from surgery to replace a tendon in her foot.
Second in the women's division went to St. Maarten veterinarian Terry Dewitt, 43. "I train for stuff, but we don't have that many hills," she said.
The mother of two said this was the first time she's been on St. John. "The island is 100 percent amazing," she said, adding that she loved the run but had trouble with the swim.
Jody Tanino, 47, who works at Asolare restaurant on St. John, captured fourth, despite falling off her bike during the transition from bicycling to running. "It was really slippery, and the bike slid sideways," she said.
Harper and St. Thomas resident Kevin Lenahan won the Bill Gladfelter awards for enthusiasm. (The award is named in honor of Gladfelter, who died of cancer several years ago.)
Lenahan did the swim in the relay despite recovering from knee surgery. His family completed the other legs.
The event also brought out a good smattering of supporters. St. Thomas attorney Jorie Roberts was there to support her husband, Daryl Dodson. She said she and the couple's two children made it a family weekend with a stay on St. John. "It's always a fun thing to do," she said.
Bern Putnam volunteered as a timekeeper on the bicycling leg of the event. He said he helps out because the island's sports community has always been there when his daughter, Alexa, needed assistance. Alexa Putnam is a skeleton racer now training in Germany.
"And it's fun," he said.
Here's a wrap up of the results.
1. Dick Luttekes, St. Maarten, 1:39:35.
2. Frits Bus, St. Maarten, 1:46:07.
3. Matt Crafts, St. John, 1:49:23.
1. Theresa Harper, St. Croix, 1:56:36.
2. Terry Dewitt, St. Maarten, 2:02:25.
3. Jude Woodcock, St. John, 2:10:24.
Relay team results were not available Sunday night.
Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.