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Terenzo Bozzone and Rebeccah Wassner win 2009 Columbia Triathlon

Posted on May 20, 2009

2009 Columbia Triathlon Race Report

Centennial Park, Howard County Maryland

Sunday May 17, 2009

1.5K swim / 41K bike / 10K run


The 28th edition of the Columbia Triathlon was once again raising the bar for a regional event striving to go to the national level of exposure and notoriety.

This year’s event had the largest pro field to date with 26 pros entered.  Since we compete with the Preakness horse race at Pimlico Race Track, we are not a favorite for sports news coverage on race weekend.  There were a few late scratches to the starting pro lineup, Mary Miller, Desiree Ficker were not able to compete and two late entry requests from Pip Taylor and Matt Reed were unable to be fulfilled.

The morning started off dreary, breezy, damp and cool with temperatures in the upper 50’s at race start and the water temperature was 70 degrees so wetsuits for the pros was out.  The energy level was still buzzing around the pro and age group field that was assembled.  The Columbia Triathlon has a $25,000 pro prize purse and an elite amateur wave with great prizes totaling $5,000 for the top 5 amateur men and women.

I had a bird’s eye view from the swim start tower as the race starter of each wave.  The pro race went off at 6:45 am, with a good clean start and the race was under way.  On the return segment of the swim,  John Kenney of Atlantic City, New Jersey (a swim specialist brought in by Xterra wetsuits) (17:45) was followed closely by Terenzo Bozzone (17:49).  They were about 20  seconds ahead of a pack of 5 that included Richie Cunningham (18:13), Adam Weber (18:15), 20 year old Andrew Yoder (18:18) ( who finished second last year to Chris Lieto), Holden Comeau (18:18) and Jamie Stephenson (18:21).  Another pack of 5 was less than 30 seconds back that included Michael Lovato, James Hadley, Davis Silver, Paul Fritzsche.  Last out of the water in 20 minutes was Chris Foster of Redondo Beach, CA.

As expected  Terenzo Bozzone of New Zealand bolted out of transition and began the bike.  Post race, Terenzo said he was going for the win from the start of the bike to the end of the run.  He was between miles 5 and 8 when he was passed like he was on a training ride by young, extremely talented and determined Andrew Yoder.  Yoder would stay in the lead and Bozzone gradually lost clear view of the race leader on this rolling and challenging 41km bike course.  The men chasing Yoder and Bozzone had to decide to try and bridge the gap and pay later on the run or be patient and hope for some changes ahead.  The bike ended with Andrew Yoder dismounting at 1:16:37 (Swim to T-1 to Bike) and leading the hard chasing Terenzo Bozzone all alone in second dismounting at 1:18:34, down 1:57 seconds. Bozzone made up another 7 seconds in T-2 so he would have to run 15 to 20 seconds faster per mile on the very challenging run course to catch Yoder.

About 4 miles into the run, Bozzone said he could see the young phenom ahead and made his move to reel in Yoder. He thought he had shaken off the younger rival by 4.5 until Yoder came back on him on a slight uphill section.  The two ran shoulder until the last mile when Bozzone made a move that was not covered by Yoder.  Andrew finished the race only 10 seconds behind in one of the most exciting and closest finishes in the history of the Columbia Triathlon.

In a great show of sportsmanship, Terenzo Bozzone and Andrew Yoder embraced and congratulated each other.  Two great athletes respecting each other’s a hard fought race.  Post race, Terenzo was quoted over the PA system that “Andrew Yoder is the real deal and a great competitor”.

 Top 7 overall received prize money:

Terenzo Bozzone             1:52:45

Andrew Yoder                   1:52:55

Richie Cunningham         1:56:01

Chris Foster                        1:56:13

(tied the run course record set last year 32:04)

Michael Lovato                 1:58:50

James Hadley                    2:00:39

Adam Webber                  2:01:07

Fastest Swim - John Kenney / Fastest Bike – Andrew Yoder / Fastest Run – Chris Foster

Full results can be found at -


Rebeccah Wassner Repeats as the winner of the 2009 Columbia Triathlon

The women’s race started at 6:45 in the mixed pro wave.  The race was just about a wire to wire win for Rebeccah Wassner.  Wassner just came off a major come from behind win against a very tough field at St. Anthony’s Triathlon in St. Petersburg Florida three weeks earlier.  Wassner won here in 2008 setting a new women’s course record time besting the previous course record held by 2004 USA Olympic Triathlete Sue Williams’s  time by over 3 minutes.

Wassner (19:23) came out of the swim with her twin sister Laurel (19:25) a cancer survivor and a member of the Ulman Cancer Fund’s Team Fight and Kelly Handel (19:25) the next chase group of two were Lindsey Jerdonek (20:22) and Margaret Shapiro (20:55).  The rest of the women’s field were still exiting the water over two minutes back from race leader Rebeccah Wassner.  Wassner led the entire bike with Margie Shapiro trying very hard to make up the time lost during the swim.  Shapiro turned in the fastest bike split of the day for the women but it just wasn’t enough to close the gap to start the run with Wassner.  It was then Wassner who entered the transition with Shapiro not more than 20 seconds back but the run that Wassner turned in proved to be enough to hold off the great running abilities of Margie Shapiro.  Wassner cruised to the fastest swim (19:23) and run of the day with a (37:12) with Margie Shapiro holding on to her second place position off the bike and finished in second with a great run of her own of 37:49 and in third Laurel Wassner who had one of her best races as a pro. 

REBECCAH WASSNER                        2:07:25    
MARGARET SHAPIRO                         2:08:22    
LAUREL WASSNER                             2:11:49    
KELLY HANDEL                                   2:12:45    
AMANDA LOVATO                            2:14:11    
CHRISSIE WELLINGTON                     2:18:40    
ULI BROMME                                     2:19:01      

Invited pros Chrissie Wellington and Terenzo Bozzone were at the finish line handing out medals and congratulating athletes on their race day accomplishments.  Thanks to all who participated in the 2009 Columbia Triathlon

Male Overall Amateur Winner 
RICK FESLER             28 CAMP HILL PA                                    2:03:20    
Female Overall Amateur Winner 
BETH SHUTT              30 NATRONA HEIGHTS PA                     2:20:57    


Full results can be found at -

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