Athletes negotiate the swim segment at the start of the Sonoma Women’s Triathlon at Veteran’s Memorial Beach on Saturday in Healdsburg.

Ideal weather and athletic achievement marked the third running of the Sonoma Women’s Triathlon on Saturday, July 13, an event which benefits the ongoing fight against cancer.

The annual test of will offered athletes a choice of triathlon race distances, including an Olympic distance race (0.93 mile swim, 27.9 mile bike, 6.2 mile run) and a sprint distance (0.5 mile swim, 14 mile bike, 3.1 mile run).

Sponsored by Bellwether Farms with a big assist from the Healdsburg Running Company and Sports Basement, the races started and finished at Veteran’s Memorial Beach in Healdsburg. The race route began with a splash at dawn and featured winding stretches of Sonoma County back roads. Although final numbers are not yet in, this year’s race was expected to raise an estimated $25,000 toward cancer research. Each athlete fulfilled a fundraising requirement to allow for their participation.

As in past years, proceeds from the event benefit the Sutter Institute for Health and Healing in Santa Rosa. The organization offers physical, emotional and spiritual care and comfort for cancer patients to relieve effects of treatment.

Veteran race Director Adam Ray of Scena Performance expressed his appreciation following a long day while putting the event in perspective.  

“The Sonoma Women’s Tri is definitely a great time, as well as an important one that supports female athletes in a unique way,” he said. “And we definitely do very well by Sonoma and the world by helping cancer patients with Sutter Health. But one other more subtle thing is that Sonoma is becoming an official home of triathlon and this grass roots, women’s focused event fills out that picture in an essential way.”

Capturing first place in the Olympic Distance race was 24-year-old Angie Law of Santa Rosa, who crossed the finish line in a time of 2:32:19. 

The top five in order of finish included Rachel Preeg (2:39:22), Kelly Abdon (2:42:40), Kristen Sanderson (2:43:05) and Alex Wilson (2:49:09). 

The Olympic Distance race also included a handful of local athletes. Healdsburg finishers included Randi Hardesty (sixth overall, 2nd in age group, 2:50:05), Sarah McGowan (18th, first in age group, 3:09:11) and Hayley Huff (21st overall, fifth in age group, 3:14:37).

Hoisting the first place trophy in the Sprint Distance race was 41-year-old Nicci Van Dyke of Oakland, negotiating the course in 1:18:07. Rounding out the top five were Windsor’s Karen Chequer-Pfeiffer (1:20:53), Vanessa Holzman (1:23:37), Lucy Devlin (1:24:37) and Carlee Duncan (1:28:26).

Healdsburg finishers in the Sprint Distance were; Erika Meyer (41st overall, second in age group, 1:44:18), Rachael Henry (44th overall, 3rd in age group, 1:45:20), Heidi Numainville (52nd overall, 5th in age group, 1:48:39), Victoria Carreon (72nd overall, fourth in age group, 2:10:34) and Carla Frank (73rd overall, ninth in age group, 2:11:50).

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