Sun shines on Arlington's Pedal, Paddle, Puff Triathlon | SLIDESHOW

ARLINGTON — A bright, sunny day with temperatures in the mid-60s proved to be a great climate for the 24 teams that registered for Arlington’s annual Pedal, Paddle, Puff Triathlon at Haller Park on July 4.

Sun on the day of the event wasn’t enough to counteract the rain during the entire month of June, which left the Stillaguamish River high and fast, too fast for paddlers.

“Because the river is so high, they changed the river route for safety,” said Denise Putnam, event organizer. “They are now riding up Centennial Trail to Lake Armstrong, where kayakers will paddle to the other side of the lake and back. This is all about family fun, so it’s safety first.”

Cyclists took off from the starting line at Haller Park at 10 a.m. and took the trail up to Lake Armstrong where paddlers in kayaks and canoes awaited their arrival.

Pat Kilmer was the first woman to reach the lake and tagged in her brother Dan Kilmer and his daughter Bailey, who paddled in a tandem kayak to the opposite side of the lake and back. “It feels good,” she said. “This is my fifth time here. I’ve biked it four times and paddled once.”

Bailey Kilmer has competed in the triathlon three times and her dad has competed 10 times. “It’s just a fun Fourth of July event,” said Dan Kilmer. “My dad did this back when it was paddle boats on the river.”

The route change shortened up the Kilmers’ race time by quite a bit. “It normally takes us 50 minutes to complete the paddle portion, but this year it took only 12 minutes,” said Dan.

“It was harder but shorter,” said Bailey, of the switch to the lake. Bailey tagged her aunt Pat back into the race, and she took back off to tag in Kyle Kilmer for the running portion of the race.

Renae Zosel and her 7-year-old daughter, Zariah, rode a tandem-style bicycle for the first leg, but only Renae Zosel made the bike ride back to tag in the runner. “I think she’s done,” said Zosel, while waiting for her husband to finish the paddling portion. “It’s four miles, so I think she’s had enough, but I’ll be riding back.”

The route was changed the morning of the race and required assistance from the Department of Fish and Wildlife, who Putnam wished to thank. “They’ve been really accommodating with the whole route change,” she said.

The results are the following — in the open division, Mt. Baker Ski Area took first place, Team Edmonds took second place and Team Can Do took third place. In the local division Solid Rock took first place, Team Cat’s Paw took second place and Mike’s Misfits took third place. In the family division Team Trowbridge took first place, Finn’s took second place and The Puffers took third place. Jeb Bolton took first place for the Iron Man competition, Steven White took second place and Jeremy Anderson took third. Sara Schustek and Kristen Snyder tied for first place in the Iron woman competition, and Keri Jensen took second place.


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