Large turnout for Arlington's Pedal, Paddle, Puff triathlon

ARLINGTON — This year’s Pedal, Paddle and Puff triathlon attracted racers from all around Washington state.

The 33 entrants at Haller Park July 4 easily surpassed last year’s total of 24.

“It was a great turnout, especially with the weather not being so great,” said race organizer Rob Putnam.

Overcast and rainy conditions didn’t keep participants or spectators from crowding the Arlington city park.

The three-part race, which is organized by the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, consisted of a 5.8-mile bike ride, a 6-mile canoe or kayak race and finally a 2-mile run.

“The whole atmosphere is great, the course is beautiful — we just keep wanting to come back,” said Bellingham resident Mike Trowbridge, 34.

Trowbridge, who has raced in the event for the past six years, was the bicyclist in his family team conveniently named Team Trowbridge from Mount Baker. The Bellingham-based team won the recently created family competition,

Getting six entries from families, Putnam said that category is here to stay, as it replaced the old-timers category this year.

Crossing the finish line first was Kim Cantrell, 50, of Bellingham, who was a member of Mount Baker Old Guys. Cantrell said he comes to this race every year because of the community and other events in Pioneer Days, specifically eating the pancake breakfast before the race.

“How do you think we get down the hills so fast?” he said.

Putnam noted that race’s popularity fringes on its location on both a map and a calender.

“As far as triathlon go, there really isn’t another one on the 4th,” he said. “And the course is just one you want to come back and do again next year.”

Both Trowbridge and Cantrell also race in other local events such as the Ski to Sea in Bellingham, saying that the Pedal, Paddle and Puff isn’t quite a warm up to the triathlon season, but more of a workout.

“It’s just long enough to be miserable, but not long enough to be a warm-up,” said Cantrell. “It’s a good mix.”

Other winners of the race include Annalisa DeVries, who placed first in the Iron Woman division, avenging her runner-up finish last year, while Carsten Mullin won the Iron Man division. Team Angry Dragon won the local division while Mount Baker SKi was atop the open division. Winners of each division earned a $100 prize.

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