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Catch up with some Ironman notables

Tue., June 26, 2007

For years, Liberty Lake trainer Ben Greenfield has helped fellow triathletes prepare and strategize for the Ford Ironman Coeur d’Alene. But he had never competed until Sunday, when he was the top local finisher.

“My one fear was that the race was going to be some kind of masochistic death march, but in reality it was an epic adventure,” he said Monday at the awards banquet.

Greenfield, who is director of sports performance for Champion Sports Medicine in Spokane, came in 38th overall, with a time of 9:59:12.

Of nearly 2,200 racers, about 250 local athletes competed in the triathlon. Preliminary results show 2,085 finished the three-part course – a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run.

Victor Zyemtsev, of Ukraine, who won in 2005, won again in 8:33:32.

Two local women were in the top 10 female finishers. Haley Cooper, of Spokane, was second at 10:42:57 and Nicolle Clutter, of Coeur d’Alene, seventh at 10:59:16.

The cold weather was a deterrent for some. Lake Coeur d’Alene was choppy, causing race organizers to give participants the option of skipping the swim. About 50 chose to do so, thereby disqualifying themselves from going to Hawaii for the world championship in October.

“Even as a local who trained in that lake, it wasn’t an easy swim,” said Nancy Taylor, a Hayden City Council member who competed for her fourth year and finished in 15:45:33. Taylor’s 21-year-old son, Derick, raced as well, coming in at 12:48:31.

“We’re already signed up for next year,” Taylor said.

Cameron Chesnut, the Post Falls man hit by a car while cycling and whose young running partner died this year, was the second local finisher. He placed 45th overall in a time of 10:05:13.

Chris Copstead, the former Coeur d’Alene city councilman who helped bring the race to the city, finished in 15:34:03.

Spokane developer John Stone, 64, completed his first Ironman in 14:58:38.

Troy Blood, the assistant golf pro at The Club at Black Rock, finished in 12:11:29.

Scott Rigsby, who hoped to be the first double amputee to finish an Ironman, completed only the swim and bike segments.

Tricia Downing aspired to be the first female paraplegic to complete an Ironman. She finished the swim and 34 miles of the bike portion.

Eight race participants went to the hospital.

One of those was admitted and in fair condition Monday, a Kootenai Medical Center spokeswoman said.

Not unexpectedly, traffic was snarled by the race, in part because of the new bicycle course that took racers north to Hayden, said Coeur d’Alene City Clerk Susan.

But the trouble was more than worth it, according to Coeur d’Alene Area Chamber of Commerce President Jonathan Coe, who estimated economic impact to the region at $7 million.

“This is just a phenomenal event, not just economically, but for what it does for the spirit of the community,” Coe said.


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