For the second straight year, all participants in the McMinnville City Triathlon were left chasing Bruce Gennari.
Gennari, 48, won Saturday’s event, giving him back-to-back championships in the local event. Gennari finished with a time of one hour, 12 minutes and five seconds. Laura Phieffer, 44, was the female winner by finishing in 1:35:11.
Gennari was the heavy favorite entering the local triathlon featuring over 100 participants. Gennari has won triathlons all over the world, including the 2001 USA National Championship. Saturday’s victory was just another notch on his belt.
Gennari, a four-time winner of the McMinnville City Triathlon before the event took a hiatus from 2010-12, finished with the fastest swimming and biking time. Gennari completed the eight-lap, 400-meter swim in 4:58 and the 18-mile bike course in 44:23. Gennari finished his day by running the 5K in 21:09 – the fourth-fastest time Saturday.
John Runyan tried to make up ground by running the 5K in 18:59, but it wasn’t enough to catch Gennari or second-place finisher Jon Eichert. Eichert, known for his bare-foot running style, was second at the event with a time of 1:17:15.
Saturday’s fastest relay team was Beauty and the Beasts featuring swimmer Hannah Wright, runner Jimmy Martin and biker Mark Harvey. The trio finished the event in 1:25:17.
Crowds gathered to cheer on all participants along the running routes, biking routes and at Gilley Pool. The crowd erupted when Gennari crossed the finish line first, but it wasn’t the only time a roar came from the crowd.
Emma Peterson, 14, and Chaney Martin, 12, drew big cheers for being the two youngest competitors to finish the event. Arthur Griffith, 71, was the oldest individual to participate Saturday.
Event coordinators were happy with the turnout and are hopeful to grow the McMinnville City Triathlon next year.