This biker prepares to take off on the second leg of the Tri-Graeagle Triathlon on Sept. 1 in Graeagle. The triathlon was the first race sanctioned by USA Triathlon to hit Plumas County.Photos by James Wilson
The inaugural Sept. 1 Tri-Graeagle Triathlon was deemed successful enough for the company Community MultiSport Events to start planning next year’s event. Alice Berg, owner of the sporting events planning company, hoped for 100 triathletes at the event. At 99, Berg deemed the competition close enough.
“The event went really well,” said Berg ecstatically. “There was just so much positive feedback. So many people told me they wouldn’t have ever come to Plumas County if it wasn’t for the triathlon; and now they plan on coming back.”
Athletes had their choice of two triathlons: a smaller sprint triathlon and a much larger Olympic triathlon.
Donatas Ereminas, from Truckee, placed first in the Olympic triathlon, coming in at two hours, two minutes, 58 seconds. Linda Biaggi, of Minden, Nev., took the gold amongst the women. Biaggi, a relative of the longtime Biaggi family of Portola, finished in 2:39:18.
Barry O’Brien, from San Francisco, was the overall winner in the men’s division of the sprint triathlon. O’Brien finished in 1:02:15. In the women’s division, Heather Winchester, of Reno, finished first in 1:13:37.
Along with the overall winners, multiple local triathletes placed in their respective age groups. Graeagle’s Jackson Harris led the pack, finishing first in the Olympic triathlon in the 60 – 64 age group.
Kelsey Sherrard, from Portola, was first in the sprint 20 – 24 age group. Johnny Carbone, also of Portola, placed first amongst the men aged 45 – 49. Jane Donn, of Blairsden, took her 55 – 59 age group.
Andrea Irving, of Graeagle, did impressively well for her first triathlon. Irving placed third in the 50 – 54 age group.
Berg has her sights set on making next year’s event even bigger and better. Rather than Labor Day, the second annual Tri-Graeagle Triathlon is scheduled for the Fourth of July weekend in conjunction with the many celebrations that take place then in Graeagle.