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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Sunday, March 31, 2002

Strong swim gets Hursty a victory

By Mike Tymn
Special to the Advertiser

As the 18th annual Tinman Biathlon got underway yesterday morning, some spectators wondered if defending champion Peter Hursty had a brother who looked very much like him.

Hursty and newcomer Mark Speck, who resembled Hursty in both appearance and form, shot out to an early lead on the 2.7-mile run segment.

Speck pulled away from Hursty after the first 400 meters and finished the run 32 seconds ahead of him, but Hursty overtook Speck about 200 meters into 800-meter swim and continued on to victory, winning for the third time in the last four years while clocking 25 minutes, 40 seconds.

"I didn't know who he was or what to expect from him in the swim," said Hursty, a 29-year-old flight instructor. "I didn't feel good at all during the run, but I began loosening up once I hit the water."

Brothers Chad Seymour, 19, and Matt Seymour, 17, also overtook Speck on the swim, Chad taking second in 26:13 and Matt third in 26:22. Speck, who moved here recently from New Jersey, wound up fourth in 27:29.

Finishing sixth overall, Deirdre Tennant, 30, easily won the women's race while recording 27:37. Samantha Moran, 16, was second in 32:13, while Vanessa Rea, 26, finished third, another nine seconds back.

With 198 starters, the event got underway at 6:30 a.m. with a run around Ala Moana Beach Park and Magic Island. A mile into the race, Speck held a 10-second lead on Hursty. "I thought it was Peter," said race founder Micky Campaniello, referring to Speck. "Then I saw Peter running in fourth place and wondered what was going on."

As in the prior races, however, Hursty, a former University of Hawai'i swimmer, was better with strokes than with strides, quickly taking command on the swim.

"Chad hung on my feet there for a while," said Hursty, "but I managed to put a little distance on him."

Tennant, who also won last year, led the women's race from start to finish. "I got a little rush of adrenaline at the start and went out a bit too fast," she said, "but I managed to settle down and maintain an even pace on the second half of the run."

Exceptional age-class performances were turned in by Diane Stowell, 67, and Edward Pama, 72. Stowell finished 12th among the women and ahead of all competitors 45 and over, while Pama was 18th overall and second among all men 40 and over.