300, including ex-Bruin, brave Harvest Triathlon
Zdeno Chára, the 6-foot-9-inch tall former team captain of the Boston Bruins who led the team to Stanley Cup Finals victory in 2011, says he’s just “a regular guy.”
When Chára swam 0.9 miles in Tihonet Pond’s 68-degree water, rode his bicycle 19.78 miles through the Myles Standish State Forest and ran 6.21 miles through A.D. Makepeace cranberry bogs in the Harvest Triathlon on Sunday, June 11, he wasn’t looking for celebrity treatment. He came in 39th place with a time of two hours, 28 minutes and 26 seconds.
“I enjoy endurance stuff,” said Chára, 46. “I enjoy the atmosphere, the community.”
It was Chára’s first triathlon, and he said he’d do it again, though the experience is quite different from playing in a hockey game.
“There’s not 20,000 people in one place,” he said. “The people cheering are spread out.”
Chára participated in the longer Olympic triathlon. The shorter Sprint triathlon required athletes to swim one-third of a mile, ride bicycles 11.4 miles and run 3.51 miles.
“Beautiful course,” Chára said. “Beautiful scenery. Just a really really great experience.”
Until 2017, the triathlon took place in Onset under the name “Escape the Cape.” Volunteers from the Wareham High School Key Club, the Gleason Family YMCA and BSA Troop 39 helped with Sunday’s event.
Of the 360 athletes who participated, only two were from Wareham. Thirty-eight-year-old Eric Holmes placed 11th in the Sprint Triathlon with a time of one hour, 12 minutes and eight seconds.
Sixty-six-year-old Onset resident David Reardon and his partners placed first in the Sprint relay race. He swam one-third of a mile in 12 minutes and 38 seconds.
“The water was cold,” he said, “but not a factor once the race started.”
Rob Levinsky of Norfolk, Virginia picked up where Reardon left off, riding 11.4 miles in 33 minutes and 50 seconds. Jennifer McGuiggan of Carver then ran 3.51 miles in 28 minutes and 49 seconds.
If Reardon had done the solo Sprint, he would have been the second-fastest swimmer in the men’s 65-69 division. Not bad, considering that he had to get a total hip replacement last December and couldn’t train for three months after that.
“My hope is to get back to a full triathlon,” he said, “as my hip replacement is going well.”
Reardon was captain of the football team in high school and a powerlifter in college. Wanting to get back in shape, he did his first triathlon in 2009 and has done 27 others since.
“I love fitness as a stress reducer,” he said.
The top three in the men’s Sprint were 48-year-old Justin Hayes (1:03:57, first overall), 49-year-old Brett Pacheco (1:06:04, second overall) and 39-year-old Michael Mottau (1:08:06, fourth overall)
The top three in the women’s Sprint were 34-year-old Mary Foster (1:07:32, third overall), 28-year-old Hannah Larkin (1:12:18, 12th overall) and 41-year-old Heather Peckham (1:14:15, 18th overall).
The top three in the men’s Olympic, and top three overall, were 37-year-old Derek Jakoboski (1:45:05), 23-year-old Samuel Busa (1:49:14) and 28-year-old Alexander Kramer (1:51:10).
The top three in the women’s Olympic were 45-year-old Lee Moynihan (2:16:51, 21st overall), 52-year-old Cindy Regnante (2:20:41, 25th overall) and 34-year-old Kristen Feldmann (2:22:06, 27th overall).
For full race results, visit allsportsevents.com/results/harvest-triathlon-2023.