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Posted on July 2, 2013

700 endurance athletes, including First Responders, members of the Armed Forces, Wounded Warriors and Physically Challenged athletes, compete in sprint triathlon June 23 in Columbia, Md.

Columbia, Md. – TriColumbia, the Mid-Atlantic’s premier endurance event production company, hosted the Celebrating Heroes Triathlon Sunday, June 23, 2013 in Columbia, Md. 700 endurance athletes participated in the sprint triathlon, which consisted of a 0.62 mile swim, 16 mile bike and 3.4 mile run, with individual athletes competing for a $4,999 prize purse.
28-year-old Chris Nocera of Pittsburgh, Pa. won the men’s division of the Celebrating Heroes Triathlon with a time of
1:15:04, finishing just minutes before first place female finisher, 26-year-old Calah Schlabach of Arlington, Va., who finished with a time of 1:20:22. Schlabach lead the pack throughout the majority of the race, and finished more than four minutes before second place female finisher, 43-year-old Hilary Cairns of Washington D.C. Both Nocera and Schlabach took home $800.

Rounding out the top men: 2) Benjamin Bartlett (26, Ellicot City, Md.), time: 1:16:28, prize: $600; 3) Benjamin Winterroth (32, Bluffton, SC), time: 1:17:06, prize: $400; 4) Tom Stack (31, Baltimore, Md.), time: 1:23:10, prize: $300; 5) David Henkel (33, Fairfax, Va.), time: 1:24:01, prize: $199.

Following Schlabach, the top females were: 2) Hilary Cairns (43, Washington, D.C.), time: 1:24:38, prize: $600; 3) Laurie Hug (48, Ambler, Pa.), time: 1:25:02, prize: $400; 4) Loren Winebrenner (33, Hyndman, Pa.), time: 1:27:38, prize: $300; 5) Samantha Bird (35, Burke, Va.), time: 1:29:05, prize: $199.

In addition, more than 50 athletes participated in two new challenges, The First Responders Challenge and the Armed Forces Challenge. The First Responders Challenge promoted friendly competition among the first responder community, and the Armed Forces Challenge allowed members of the armed forces to compete with athletes in the five branches of United States military service. 31-year-old Jason Hyman representing Homeland Security Investigations won the men’s division of the First Responder Challenge with a time of 1:32:45, and 31-year-old Sarah-Maria Marchegi representing the Arlington County Fire Department won the women’s division with a time of 2:10:10. In the Armed Forces Challenge, 37-year-old Gene Severtson representing the United States Navy won the overall men’s division with a time of 1:24:07, and 48-year-old Susan Arnold representing the United States Army won the overall women’s division with a time of 1:43:47. The top finishers received a $500 donation to the charitable organization of their choice.  

“The Celebrating Heroes Triathlon is an inspirational event, celebrating our nation’s independence and applauding the spirit of American Heroes who selflessly lend a hand to provide hope and help to those in need every day,” said Kari Ebeling, Race Director and Chief Operating Officer at TriColumbia. “This year’s race featured many heroes, from dozens of first responders and members of our armed forces, to wounded warriors injured in the line of duty and physically challenged athletes.  We congratulate all of the winners, finishers and participants, and thank our dedicated sponsors, volunteers and community groups for their support.”

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