LACONIA — Seventy-one experienced and not-so-experienced endurance athletes from six states participated in Sunday's first Marshmallow Man Sprint Triathlon to benefit the Greater Lakes Child Advocacy Center (GLCAC). Bruce Butterworth of Seabrook covered the three part course in 1:09:16 to win the mens' competition and Kayle Shapero of Boston came home in front of all the other women in 1:17:17.
GLCAC Program Director Meghan Noyes said her organization will net about $5,000 from the event and plans to do it bigger and better next year.
A sprint triathlon consists of a course that covers about one-quarter the distance of the renowned "Ironman" events. Both contests have three legs, with sprinters at the Marshmallow Man event starting with a half-mile swim in Lake Opechee, followed by a 14-bile bike ride and then a 5-k run.
Jamie Poire of Laconia was the fastest male finisher (1:18:24) among the locals entered — he finished fifth — and Deidre Cullen (1:18:06) of Gilford finished second on the female side. Ron Poitras (1:20:44) finished eighth and Whitney Paine (1:32:38) of Moultonborough was fifth and Lauren Cooper (1:36:16) of Laconia finished ninth.
There were only three entries in the team division (each athlete on a team completes one leg of the race) and Team Kokernack/Eckel/Folcick had the fastest time of 1:12:07.
Noyes said the event was developed and run with the help of several volunteers from the Lakes Region community, Laconia Police Department/Gilford Police/Belmont Police, members of Lakes Region CERT, Laconia Athletic and Swim Club and MC Cycle. Sponsors for the event included Metrocast, Laconia Athletic and Swim Club, Lakes Region Triathlon Club, Hart's Homemade Slush, T&A Gunnery, Laconia Police Relief, Gilford Police Relief, Franklin Savings Bank, MC Cycle, Laconia Ice Company, Rowell's Sewer and Drain, Buster the Balloon Twister and numerous community volunteers the day of the event.
The Greater Lakes Child Advocacy Center provides services free of charge to all child sexual abuse, physical abuse or who are witnesses to violent crimes, such as homicide or domestic violence. In addition, the GLCAC provides community outreach and awareness through workshops/trainings.