It was a classic battle of newcomer vs. veteran. And this time, the newcomer prevailed.
Ryan Siebert of Patchogue passed David Powers of Wainscott in the final stages of the 10K run to win his first Mighty Hamptons Triathlon on Sunday morning in Sag Harbor. Siebert, 22, broke the tape in 2:03:59, while Powers, 46, wasn’t far behind, taking second in 2:04:13. The triathlon, which began in 1982, is contested at the Olympic distance, consisting of a 1.5K (0.93 mile) swim at Long Beach, followed by a 40K (24.8 mile) bike and concluding with a 10K (6.2 mile) run.
Powers, who competed in his first Mighty Hamptons in 2002 and has won the Mighty Montauk Triathlon a few times, handled the loss with grace and a bit of humor, admitting that the torch may have been passed. Siebert has competed in the Mighty Hamptons since 2008. He finished second in 2010 and 2011 and was third last year.
“That’s like the third time probably that he’s passed me in the last mile,” Powers said, before adding, with a smile: “He’s getting faster and I’m getting slower, and I don’t think that’s going to reverse.”
Although he enjoyed the spoils of victory on Sunday, Siebert can relate to what Powers experienced, having been on the cusp of winning only to get passed at the end of the run in the last two years.
“The past few years I’ve come so close,” he said. “I came here today and just wanted to win so bad.”
It didn’t look like Siebert would get his wish for most of the triathlon, as he trailed Powers—who led after the swim and bike—by a significant margin going into the run. Siebert also took a wrong turn roughly two-thirds of the way through the bike portion. He said the miscue only took him off course momentarily, however, and instead of discouraging him, provided extra motivation.
“It fired me up a little more,” he said. “Coming off the bike, everyone was saying I was two minutes behind, and I’m not confident in my run, so I didn’t think I’d catch [Powers]. But I caught sight of him within a mile, and gave it all I had. I saved it up for the last mile and then made my move and kept looking over my shoulder, hoping he wouldn’t come back.”
Siebert got an enthusiastic hug from his mom, Denise Hannon Siebert, after crossing the finish line. Competing in triathlons is a family affair for the Sieberts—Ms. Siebert said she had plans to leave for London on Tuesday, September 10, to compete in the Sprint Triathlon World Championships, set for September 12. She’s also a veteran on the local circuit, having won the Mighty Montauk Triathlon in 1984. Her son won the Mighty Montauk last year, in the 30th anniversary of the race. She competed last year as well.
Siebert described himself as a “semi-pro” triathlete. He qualified for his pro card, but said he isn’t quite at the pro level yet in the swim or run. He’s in his final year as a student at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue, where he’s a math education major. Siebert also works part time at the Babylon Bike Shop, run by his triathlon coach, Mike Monastero.
Powers, meanwhile, also works part time so he can focus on training and competing in triathlons, which he started in 2002. While he still trains every day, Powers said he doesn’t put as much of a workload on his body, but instead finds ways to “train and race smarter.” He said he was looking forward to joining his 10-year-old daughter in the 5K race at the Hamptons Marathon later this month.
While the battle between Siebert and Powers was the highlight of the triathlon, several other competitors had strong showings. Shawn Faurot, 34, of New York was third (2:06:10), followed by Ryan Johnson, 29, of New York (2:07:05); Justin Kulchinsky, 40, of East Hampton (2:07:32); Julian Acevedo, 27, of Astoria (2:08:03); Tim Steiskal, 23, of Naugatuck, Connecticut (2:09:36); Brendan Mims, 33, of Massapequa Park (2:10:24); Tim Walton, 40, of Noyac (2:12:14); and Matthew Luckett, 41, of Brooklyn (2:13:11), who rounded out the top 10.
Megan Wiseman, 32, of New York was the top female finisher and was 13th overall in 2:14:44.
For complete results, visit http://myraceresult.com/resultbanners/eventpower/mightyhamptons.html.
Neither the men’s nor women’s course records of 1:55:33 and 2:06:49, respectively, were threatened.