Sunday, May 16, 2021

Debuts, Distance PRs and Podiums in a Day's Work For Volte at Sylvan Beach

Even though Volte doesn't have plans anytime soon to add tri to our name, we had a great group of eight athletes competing at the 15th edition of the Sylvan Beach Triathlon and Duathlon on Sunday, May 16 in La Porte.

Sylvan Beach has run continuously – minus last year’s cancellation due to COVID-19 – since 2006 where it started as a point-to-point race known as the Battle of San Jacinto Triathlon.

75% of our crew from Sunday's Sylvan Beach Triathlon and Duathlon
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)

Half of our crew – Yaya Herrera, Gabby Westbrook, Paolo Biagi and Tammy Grado – is training to complete their first Ironman at this year’s Ironman Texas, to be held in The Woodlands on Saturday, October 9.

Focused and determined is Yaya Herrera coming back in off of one of the run legs.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)

And two of those four – Yaya and Gabby – were competing in their longest triathlon to date, the Olympic distance which includes a 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike and 10K run.

Gabby Westbrook has her eyes on where she needs to go back into the transition area.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)

(Due to high winds, the Olympic distance swim was shortened to 1,000 meters and the start was delayed to 7:05 a.m. from its original 6:55 a.m. scheduled start.)

Three of the remaining four – Christopher Branch, Judith Albarran and Mayra Caamano – joined Biagi and Grado in the sprint duathlon while Angel E Martinez Interiano, who has just started to come back and run Tuesday night track with us, jumped into the sprint triathlon.

Angel Martinez Interiano making the run look easy.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)

In the duathlon, which included a two-mile run, 12.5-mile bike and three-mile run course, Branch, who was making his multisport debut, led our entire group with a time of 1:17:42, good for sixth in a competitive 40-49 division and 20th of 80 overall male competitors.

Christopher Branch led Volte in the duathlon today with nobody too close to chase him.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)

Biagi was four overall places behind in 1:20:46 and fourth of 19 competitors in his 50-59 division.

Paolo Biagi getting directions from volunteer, and one of the friendliest and
most versatile female road and trail runners around, Becky Nesbitt.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)

Biagi drew praise post-race from Volte teammate Mayra Caamano.

"You took off from the very beginning and I could never catch you!" she said.  "I knew you were going to be great on the bike, but I was also very impressed with both of your runs!"

Caamano, who was making her first multisport appearance since Mother’s Day 2012, led all of our ladies in the duathlon.

She was fourth in her age group then in 2012 at the TriGirl Super Sprint Duathlon, held at Duessen Park just off Lake Houston, where she covered the half-mile run, 8-mile bike and 2-mile run in 49:41 was 15th overall.

Caamano in her multisport debut nine years ago.
(Photo courtesy of Friends of the Running Community)

But today, seemingly not having missed a step in nine years, she came out firing – with a 13-minute, two-mile first leg – that brought her into transition sixth overall as the race was led by one of Houston’s top female athletes, Flora Lai.

Nine years and a couple of days later, Caamano signals the second time's easier.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)

Caamano was second in her 10-year age group (out of 19 competitors) and eighth overall out of 56 female finishers.

Albarran, also competing in a duathlon for the first time, was just three overall places behind Caamano – and two in their mutual 40-49 age group.

Judith Albarran might have missed the podium by one spot, but was dazzling in her multisport debut.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)

Like Mayra, Judith threw down a fast opening two miles in 14:20 en route to an overall time of 1:25:20.

While Albarran missed out of age group award placement by one, Grado made the podium in third in her 11-competitor 50-59 division with the best run on both legs.  

The top two finishers in her division finished just two seconds apart – and Tammy was just two minutes behind them with an overall time of 1:32:07.

Some community notables from today’s results include the following:
Sylvan Beach Duathlon
James Griffis, The Woodlands, 1:16:00
Ben Harvie, Kemah, 1:25:47
Van Joslin, our friend from the Texas 10 Series and Valhalla, “The Speedo Bandido”, 1:15:16
Dana Lyons, founder, Finish Strong Coaching, 1:08:32, 4th overall male
Pam Meaux, Team in Training, The Woodlands Running Club, 1:15:31, 2nd overall female
Steve Sievert, top Texas 10 Series masters competitor, 1:08:45 (was Darren Hadden’s target)

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