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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, May 15, 2006

New course for Honolulu Triathlon brings fast times

 •  Triathletes take plunge in Magic Island waters

By Brandon Masuoka
Advertiser Staff Writer

The elite men sprint to the ocean at the start of the Honolulu Triathlon at Magic Island. This year’s race featured a different course.

DEBORAH BOOKER | The Honolulu Advertiser

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1, Mitchell Dean 1:46:55

2, Manuel Huerta 1:47:00

3, Haven Barnes 1:47:06

4, Matthew Seymour 1:47:24

5, David Thompson 1:47:36


1, Jasmine Oeinck 1:56:51

2, Sarah Groff 1:57:18

3, Sara McLarty 1:58:08

4, Julie Swail 1:59:37

5, Lisa Mensink 1:59:59

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A leg-weary Mitchell Dean did much more than just "hang on" in his first Honolulu Triathlon yesterday.

The 27-year-old Australian, racing in his second triathlon in as many weeks, won yesterday with a late surge in the 10-kilometer run.

Dean finished the 1.5-kilometer swim at Ala Moana Beach, 40-kilometer bike down Nimitz Highway and back, and 10K run around Ala Moana Beach Park in 1 hour, 46 minutes and 55 seconds, just 5 seconds ahead of American Manuel Huerta.

"My legs were tired all week," said Dean, who last weekend raced in the Wildflower Triathlon, a half-Ironman distance race in Southern California. "My plan was to sit in, and let the others set the pace for as long as I could hang on."

Jasmine Oeinck, 21, of Littleton, Colo., won the women's race in 1:56:51. Oeinck and Dean each won $3,000.

A total of 784 competitors started yesterday's race, which was the first major swimming sporting event in the area since the March 24 rupture of a city sewer main in Waikiki that spilled more than 48 million gallons of raw sewage into the Ala Wai Canal.

The Honolulu Triathlon also featured a new course to alleviate traffic concerns in East Honolulu. The previous course went from Kapi'olani Park to Hawai'i Kai and back.

Elite athletes yesterday recorded the fastest finishing times in the three-year history of the Honolulu event because of the new, predominantly flat and windless course.

"It's a very fast course," Dean said. "To tell you the truth, we were going so slow on the bike, a couple of minutes could come off that time, no problem."

Dean had the second-best elite swim time at 18:39 and 13th-best bike at 54:33. He was tops in the run at 32:31.

"When we had a mile to go, there was only three guys left," Dean said of the lead pack. "I thought, 'I'll give it everything I got.' I didn't look back. I managed to hold on for the win."

Huerta said he made his final charge about 1 kilometer from the finish — near Magic Island — but he couldn't catch Dean.

"He had a better day," Huerta said. "He dropped me about 400, 800 meters to the finish."

Huerta, 22, won $2,500 for second place. Haven Barnes, 30, took third (1:47:06, $1,800), Hawai'i's Matthew Seymour, 22, placed fourth (1:47:24, $1,500) and David Thompson, 20, finished fifth (1:47:36, $1,200).

Oeinck said she broke away from Sarah Groff when the runners reached the Magic Island footpath.

"I said, 'If I die, I die,' " Oeinck said of her late surge. "At least I'll be at the finish soon."

Groff said she raced last weekend, and that taxed her legs in the last kilometer of yesterday's race.

"That pure speed just goes from your legs," said Groff, who finished 27 seconds behind Oeinck at 1:57:18. "The last (kilometer), I just didn't have it. I did my best. Maybe next time."

Groff, 25, won $2,500 for second. Sara McLarty, 23, took third (1:58:08, $1,800), Julie Swail, 33, placed fourth (1:59:37, $1,500) and Lisa Mensink, 29, finished fifth (1:59:59, $1,200).

Yesterday's Honolulu competition was one of four International Triathlon Union points races in the United States. Elite athletes earn points for World Cup triathlon competition.

ITU is the world-governing body for triathlons, and is the only recognized organization by the International Olympic Committee, according to the ITU Web site.

Reach Brandon Masuoka at bmasuoka@honoluluadvertiser.com.