Princeton Triathlete Wins LBI Triathlon

Alexandridis Is 2 for 2 in Long Beach Township This Summer
By DAVID BIGGY | Sep 19, 2018
Photo by: David Biggy Iain Alexandridas begins the run portion of the LBI Triathlon en route to victory in just over 51 minutes on Sept. 16.

Iain Alexandridis was so pleased with his victory in the LBI Splash & Dash in mid-August, he figured he’d come back to Long Beach Township for the LBI Triathlon.

“It was my first time here when I won the Splash & Dash, so I thought it would be a good idea to try to make it two in a row,” said Alexandridis, the 25-year-old from Princeton who cruised to a time of 51 minutes, 12 seconds on Sept. 16. “I really liked the race in August, and the course for the swim and run in this race were similar, so I felt comfortable with it. It was a perfect day for a race, too.”

With a field of 273 triathletes competing in four waves, Alexandridis first had to take care of business in the first wave, since all others started in three-minute intervals and it was hard to know where any of the leaders of those waves would end up amid the final standings.

After trailing Chris Hemmerle of Conshohocken, Pa., out of the bay following the quarter-mile swim, Alexandridis exited the first transition in the lead spot and zipped away, cycling through the three loops on Long Beach Boulevard in 27:29.

“We had a tailwind going down the Boulevard to the first turn, so I took advantage of it and got a decent lead on the guy behind me,” said the 2016 Virginia Tech graduate. “The good thing about the loop course is you can keep an eye on the guys behind you. It gives you a good idea of how fast your pace needs to be to stay in the lead.”

Into the 3-mile run, Alexandridis had a nearly two-minute lead ahead of Philadelphia’s Kevin Trinchere, who had worked into the second position of the lead wave during the 10.9-mile cycling portion of the race. Alexandridis dropped the hammer during the run, motoring through it in 16:57 – the only competitor to finish it in under 17 minutes.

“I raced in Thailand for a while, but I took a year off and just started getting back to racing again,” he said. “This was my first triathlon in a year. But I like the local races, and this one was great. It was a good swim, the course was flat and fast, and all the volunteers were awesome.”

Manahawkin’s Michael Vile, who was competing in a triathlon for the first time in several years and part of a different wave for the LBI Tri, ended up finishing second with a time of 54:11, while Trinchere swiped third overall in 55:04, Marlton’s Robert Holzer was fourth in 55:54 and Hemmerle took fifth in 55:549.

Shannon Hemmerle, also of Conshohocken, was the first female to cross the finish line and placed sixth overall in 57:07. Gabrielle Czernik from New York City finished second in the women’s division with a time of 58:56, with Laura Torres crossing third in 1:00:53.

The youngest competitor in the triathlon, at 10 years old, happened to be a local girl – Manahawkin’s Kendall Roma, who placed 240th overall in 1:32:44.

Interestingly, the top team was comprised of a bunch of dudes not much older than Roma, as 13-year-olds Colin Tripp, Alex Micca and Aidan Linde teamed up for a time of 1:02:19. The Berkley Heights trio went by the name TriceraOps, a name born straight out of one of the most popular video games going right now, “Fort Nite.”

“It’s one of the skins you can use in the game, so we thought the name was fitting for a triathlon,” said Aidan, who completed the run portion of the race in 20:18. “It was fun to do the race together. We’ll probably come back next year.”

Several of the boys had family members competing in the triathlon, but the three middle-schoolers had no intention of competing as individuals.

“The swim was really crowded,” said Colin, who finished the swim in a brisk 6:51. “I’m used to swimming in a pool, so it was hard to keep my sense of direction. But I got through it. I’m an OK biker and a bad runner, and swimming is my specialty.”

Alex had a tough time getting moving on the crowded roadway but eventually got used to the pace.

“I’m used to casually riding around town in the summer, not racing against hundreds of people,” he said. “But once I got going, things got easier, and I started passing other riders. At times there were a lot of people around me and at other times not as many.”

The corresponding duathlon – comprised of a 1.7-mile run, followed by the same 10.9-mile bike and 3-mile run – was won by Justin Ehring of Hatboro, Pa., in 56:36, while Mount Laurel’s Eric Reitinger finished second in 57:14 and Dave Dixon of Wilmington, Del., placed third in 57:49. The Aquabike top three were Edward Koziara of Philadelphia (37:04), Monika Lukens of Hockessin, Del. (37:26) and Igor Zykh of Voohees (38:30).

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