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Triathlon Hits Ave Maria

tri1-250A total of 74 triathletes -- rangin gin age from 65 to 22 -- rode through Ave Maria Saturday in the cycling portion of the HITS triathlon. There were 74 athletes who came through Ave Maria for the full triathlon. The oldest was 65 the youngest was 22.

The full triathlon involved a 2.4-mile swim in the Gulf of Mexico, a 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile run, which the winner completed in nine hours, 44 minutes.

Another 215 athletes competing in the half triathlon turned around at the main Ave Maria entrance on Oil Well Rd. Among them were NASCAR champion driver Jimmie Johnson, competing in his first triathlon event. He finished 15th overall in the event, at four hours and four hours, 42 minutes, but could have been faster. The Naples Daily News reported that he took a wrong turn in the cycling portion, adding about two extra miles to his ride. Below right, Jimmie Johnson with a young fan.

johnson1The Ave Maria portion of the event had a great deal of support from many residents who helped direct traffic and staffed nutrition stations at the main entrance.

photo above by Barb Norton. Photo of Jimmie Johnson from Twittter.


 

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