2022 Block Island Triathlon great in any weather

Sat, 08/13/2022 - 11:00am

They came as friends, families, athletes, and amateurs, all to take a run at the 2022 Block Island Triathlon. Some have done triathlons for years, some just started their training recently, and some did iton a whim, just because they thought they could.
This year’s triathlon, organized by the New Shoreham Recreation Department under the direction of Dave Sniffen and assistant Kim Cantone, took place under sunny skies on Saturday, August 6. It was, like many recent days, hazy, hot and humid, but that didn’t stop approximately 325 people from challenging themselves. Not all made it – there were 302 finishers. Some crossed the finish line with seemingly plenty of energy to spare, some looked somewhat dazed, even disoriented. Some looked pooched even by the end of the bike portion but endured anyway with the grueling run on the hot sand still ahead of them. And for some it was an occasion, not to win, but just to do it with friends or family, like Block Island School Class of 2022 graduates Chloe Weber and Rory Crawford, who started and ended the race together with times of 2:17:36 and 2:17:37.
It all starts with a quarter-mile swim off Fred Benson Town Beach. There were staggered starts with the women first and then the men, all divided into age groups. “Swimmers” took their marks about 100 feet away on the sand, running towards the shore and then entering the water. Some dove, some waded in, at least one did a cannonball into the water. Then, along a buoy line they swam in a large circle and back to shore under the watchful eye of a
few patrol boats.
Next was the 12-mile bike ride with the athletes turning from Corn Neck Road onto Beach Avenue and then to Center Road where the “airport hill” surely thinned the pack. After circling the west side, back they came. The first person into the beach parking lot was a woman who was minutes ahead of the rest of the racers. It was Anna Shlimak, 20, from Falmouth, Mass., and she would go on to be the overall first-place female winner with a time of 1:23:50, and
sixteenth overall.
While Shlimak was way in front of the pack going into the four-mile run on Crescent Beach, the first man to cross the finish line ended up right behind her. That was 28-year-old Andrew Perkins from Boston, Mass. with a time of 1:14:52.
Sniffen told The Times that 340 people signed up for the race. The Times spotted Blake Filippi coming across the finish line and when asked, Cantone said: “Yeah, he said he woke up the other morning and said ‘I think I’ll run the triathlon.’” It must have been a last-minute decision, because Filippi’s bib number was 339.
Young Justin Berry of Block Island came in first in the 14 and under men’s division, although there were only two finishers in that category. Still, he bested his dad Jon, who had trained all winter for the race while Justin did not. Justin’s time was 1:43:33. His father’s was 2:01:33.