Football star Kent Gabourel Jr., of San Pedro Seahawk fame, won in the men’s Lionman category, Shalini Zabaneh repeated as female champion for the seventh time, and Dr. Ramon Figueroa won in the Masters’ Lionman category.
Jordan Santos won as Junior Champion in 14th annual Lionman Triathlon organized by the Belize Triathlon Association. The competition was held in the coastal waters along Sandlighters’ Promenade and along Marine Parade in Belize City on Sunday, September 1.
More than 40 swimmers jumped into the sea for the two-mile swim. Kent Gabourel was fifth out the water, completing the 1,500m swim in 32 minutes 27 seconds. But he soon took the lead on the 25 mile bike ride, a three-lap course from Celebrity Restaurant on Marine Parade to Duke’s Marine, a designated turning point on the Philip Goldson Highway and back, completing the ride in one hour 41 minutes, 20 seconds.
Three-time Lionman champion Kenroy “Smokes” Gladden was ninth coming out of the water in 35 minutes 10 seconds, but he moved up to third place, finishing the bike ride in one hour 43 minutes 7 seconds.
He soon overtook Gabourel on the second lap of the 10 km run, but Gabourel regained the lead in the third lap with Gladden dogging his footsteps. Gladden used Gabourel to pace himself all the way to the finish, but had no reserves left to kick in a sprint to overtake Gabourel on the home stretch. Gabourel won in 2:33:39 while Gladden took second place five seconds later.
Gabourel won a cash prize from Belize Telemedia, and cases of Belikin beer and stout. He also won a case of Guinness Stout from Bowen & Bowen. Gladden also received a cash prize and cases of Belikin beer and stout.
Triathlon veteran Dr. Ramon Figueroa was the third swimmer out of the water in 29 minutes 28 seconds and was still in second place at the end of the ride, clocking 1:42:26. He finished third overall in 2:44:42. He was first in the Masters over-40 category.
Cyclist Luigi Urbina of Orange Walk was 13th out of the water in 38 minutes, 21 seconds, but he made up time on the ride, finishing in 1:48:14. He finished third among the elite men, fourth overall in 2:54:20. He won a cash prize from Belize Telemedia, a case of Belikin beer and a case of Belikin Stout from Bowen & Bowen.
Karl Borland was the second swimmer out of the water in 28 minutes 34 seconds. He finished sixth overall in 2:56:31.
Dimity Gannon of Melbourne, Queensland, Australia was visiting Belize and decided to compete as Lionman for the sheer fun of it. She was first in the swim in 26 minutes 27 seconds, but Shalini Zabaneh, who finished sixth in the swim in 33 minutes 5 seconds, overtook her on the bike ride, finishing in 1:48:15, while Gannon clocked in at 1:54:21.
Gannon remained in contention on the run, and while Shalini won as first female in 2:56:25, placing fifth overall; Gannon clocked 2:58:40 as the second woman to finish seventh overall.
Kerah Eiley was 12th in the swim in 37 minutes, and she clocked 2:01:47 on the ride to win third prize among the women.
Denise Diaz was 13th in the swim in 38:12 and clocked 2:32:55 on the ride, finishing fourth among the women.
Fifteen year-old Jordan Santos, a third form student at San Pedro High School, was fourth out of the water in 31 minutes 31 seconds, but fell to 10th place on the ride which he finished in 2:04:03.
He finished the course in 3:14:18 to place 10th overall and but first among the juniors, for which he won a trophy and a case of Bowen & Bowen products.
Among the other contenders were Roger Troyer – eighth in 2:59:32, former junior champion Tony Leslie ninth in 3:02:25.
Hao Cheng Lee finished 10th after finishing the swim seventh in 34 minutes 56 seconds.
Gilroy Fermin was 11th in 3:25:15, Raul Ordonez was 12th in 3:25;55 and karate sensei Leon Guild was 13th in 3:26;00.
Enrique Cal finished 14th in 3:30:25, Rene Cáceres was 15th in 3:35:36; John Dimarco was 16th in 3:38:04 and Rogelio Pop was 17th in 3:38:49.
The team relay triathlon started at the same time as the individual events competition so not all swimmers competed in the individual event. Some of the athletes who started the individual competition dropped out of the swimming event or abandoned the ride.