The inaugural Alaskaman Extreme Triathlon took place this past weekend in a stunningly beautiful and harsh environment. A 2.6 mile swim, a 113.5 mile bike ride, and a 27.5 mile run add up to 142 miles and take the athletes from Resurrection Bay all the way to the top of Alyeska. 307 athletes had registered for this race but only 198 started. 12 did not finish the swim, 6 more did not complete the bike segment, another 15 were unable to finish the run. Plus 12 others withdrew for various reasons and that only allowed 153 to finish.
Race director Aaron Palaian was however thrilled with how it came together and was especially happy about the local support.
"Tons of local support. Never seen anything like it as far as venue and government (local and state) support. Everyone supported and loved it," said Palaian. "A huge thank you to Seward, Alaska, Alaska SeaLife Center, Miller's Landing Alaskan Fishing & Kayaking Outfitters, Alaska, Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities, U.S. Forest Service - Chugach National Forest, Girdwood, Alaska, and Alyeska Resort as well as all our sponsors Sentiv - Fitness Incentive App, TRITATS, HUUB Design, BASE Performance, Ski AK Lamson Products Sunline Products Chain Reaction Cycles - Alaska, Cycle Chauffeur, QT2 Systems - Triathlon."
But here now are some great pictures by Eric Wynn.
If this image is not calling you to Alaska, maybe no other image will.
It was a cold morning and the athletes had to deal with very cold water.
Undeterred by the the early 4am start, the water temps in the low to mid 50s and air temps in the 50s, the athletes lined up for a long adventure.
According to Palaian, water temp was 55 degrees at start. "When they hit the waterfall about 1/3 of the way through it dropped to 46 degrees. From there it slowly went back up to 51 by the exit. Average water temp all things considered was 51-52 degrees. The waterfall feeding the course was brutal," said Palaian.
Helping hands at the swim exit were greatly appreciated.
Off on the bike course with no drafting packs in sight, but a rewarding beautiful landscape.
Danny Dvinov from Oakland, CA on his way to second place in 11:37:41.
The fastest man on course was Andrew Fast from Salt Lake City. He set the standard to beat at 11:18:29. He swam 1:11:11, had a 3:52 T1, biked 5:10:46, had a 1:32 T2 and closed his day with a 4:51:08 run.
Jason Tillinghast, also from Utah, enjoys this flat stretch of the Alaskaman bike course.
With "only 27.5 miles" of running ahead Zackary Dicks and two other athletes push towards the finish in Alyeska.
Sebastian Lopez from Bay City, Texas relaxed and happy on the way to a 13:46:09
Alone with nature and your own thoughts.
Mary Knott and Dan Beaver from Gilbert Arizona running past a good group of spectators and fans. Knott and Beaver finished in 15:27 and change.
Mackie Derrick from Anchorage, AK had time to say hi to his family and finish 10th male in 13:20:59
Craig Alexander was on course too, but he was supporting his friend Leonardo Mello from Sao Paulo, Brazil. Mello who apparently is the principal supporter of the Bravo Triathlon Team finished 6th male in 12:56:18.
Up, up and up. Britta Anderson from Eagle River, Alaska pushed towards the finish. Her time 17:39:05.
Peter Denekamp traveled all the way from the Netherlands to race in this inaugural race.
Completely exhausted, cold and happy.