Angelini Wins LBI Triathlon By More Than Two Minutes
Jeff Angelini doesn’t compete in triathlons to win them. But if he happens to win, that’s OK, too.
“I race as hard as I can, and where I end up is where I end up,” said Angelini, the 30-year-old from Yardville who captured the LBI Triathlon on Sept. 18 after crossing the finish line in 51:45 at Bayview Park in Long Beach Township. “When I’m doing the short triathlons, I just have fun doing them. I’m not trying to win, really.”
Racing with the first, elite wave of competitors, Angelini was second out of the bay water following the quarter-mile swim. Within 50 yards after the first transition, he zipped into the lead position for the 10-mile bike ride and dropped the hammer, pushing his lead to a comfortable 1:36 by the time he hit the back end of the third bike loop along Long Beach Boulevard.
Out of the second transition, which took him just 42 seconds, Angelini headed for the 3-mile run, which encompassed a double loop before returning to the finish. Along the route of the first loop, he took note of his closest competitor – Somerset’s Jake Sisson – but knew he wouldn’t be caught.
“I knew the other guy was really going fast on the bike, so I wanted to have as much of a comfort zone as possible going into the run,” Angelini said. “When I saw him on the run, I had a good minute-and-a-half lead on him at that point, and then I just cruised from there. At that point, my lead was pretty safe.”
Angelini completed the run in 18:32 and coasted to the finish line, arms raised in victory. After finishing his run in 19:06, Sisson placed second with a total time of 53:58. Brick’s Chris Ward was third in 55:20, while the fourth-place spot went to Ross Olcott of Beach Haven, who finished in 56:32.
“The humidity was rough today,” Angelini said. “But I did an Ironman in Houston in May and that was terrible – 92 degrees and 60-percent humidity. So this wasn’t too bad at 70 to 75 degrees. But the sprint triathlon always hurts because you’re red-lining the whole time. You’re constantly trying to push hard through it. Fortunately, I was able to build a cushion on the bike and then I settled into a good pace on the run.”
Stratford’s Hannah Cassidy, representing Team We Tri, was fifth overall and the first female across the finish line with a time of 56:57.
“This is my first time on Long Beach Island and it was an excellent experience,” Cassidy said. “I was just trying to complete it. I had no intent on being the first one across the finish line. Honestly, I didn’t even know where I was when I was out there. I stayed really focused.”
A former soccer player, the 24-year-old Cassidy started buckling down on her fitness level several years ago.
“In 2014, I was 60 to 70 pounds heavier and I got sick of it,” she said. “So I started running. Then it gradually got to the point of doing a triathlon. I did the New Jersey Triathlon earlier this year and it went well. And now I’m here, and this was awesome. I’ll definitely be back.”
Because Cassidy was registered as part of a team, Gabrielle Czernik of Wanaque was named the first finisher in the women’s race, finishing sixth overall with a time of 57:22, while Beach Haven’s William Wright took the seventh overall spot in 59:27, and Ocean City’s Susan Reich was eighth with a time of 59:38.
Rounding out the top 10 were Oakland’s Daniel Trolaro in ninth at 59:39 and Ocean City’s Terry Clemons in 10th at 59:58. Eric Leonard of Beach Haven was the only other local to crack the top 50, placing 48th in 1:07:18.
— David Biggy