JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARBULLETIN.COM
Mililani's Timothy Marr celebrated after crossing the finish line yesterday during the 26th annual Tinman Triathlon.
Tinman win nearly marred
Marr's victory is restored after being taken away for a mistaken penalty
For Timothy Marr, it wasn't just winning the 26th Annual Tinman Triathlon that made him sweat -- it was waiting to see if he had actually been declared the winner.
Marr, a 27-year-old professional triathlete from Mililani, crossed the finish line first with a time of 1 hour, 42 minutes, 48.2 seconds. He finished comfortably ahead of Benjamin Collins (1:45:59.7) and Tai Blechta (1:46:55.8), and only saw the flashing blue lights of the police escort ahead of him as he led for almost the entire race.
"It's always eluded me, and I always wanted to win," Marr said after claiming his first Tinman victory.
The race was composed of a 750-meter swim at Queen's Beach, 40-kilometer bike ride from Kapiolani Park to Hawaii Kai and back, and 10-kilometer run around Diamond Head, into Kahala, and finally finishing just ahead of the Kapiolani Park bandstand.
But when race officials posted the first batch of results on a bulletin board, Marr stood in disbelief and expressed frustration when he learned that he had been assessed a 10-minute penalty, which dropped him to seventh place, for allegedly drafting, or riding closely behind other competitors to cut down on the wind resistance. According to the race's Web site, the rule regarding drafting during the bike portion says: "This race is an individual event, and drafting is not permitted. You will be disqualified without warning for drafting."
Marr pleaded his case to the officials, making the argument that he had led throughout the bike and running portions of the event, and did not have any other racers ahead of him to draft. After nearly half an hour of deliberation by the officials, the penalty was removed, and Marr was declared the winner -- again.
"It makes me kind of upset that they gave me that kind of penalty when I'm by myself at the front," Marr said after being informed that his win would indeed stand. "But that's life. That stuff happens."
Making the victory even sweeter for Marr was the fact that his father also competed in and finished the race. Blake Marr, a 54-year-old Honolulu City and County paramedic and coach of the Schofield Sharks swim club, has helped guide his son since he took up running cross country at Mililani High School and later at Chaminade and UH-Hilo.
"My dad got me into this, and he's really supportive," said the younger Marr, who will compete in the Vine Man Triathlon in Napa Valley, Calif., this weekend.
Rachel Ross of Honolulu was the first woman to cross the line, finishing in 2:01:25.3. The 29-year-old mother of three finished third in last year's Tinman, and is preparing to compete for the first time in the prestigious Ironman Triathlon on the Big Island in October.
"This was a good tuneup, and a fun race too," said Ross, who also competed in the Boston Marathon this past April. "I've done a lot more racing than last year, and I've been working on running, my favorite (of the aerobic activities in the triathlon)."
Marion Summerer (2:05:03.8) and Kristy Peterson (2:05:35.6) rounded out the women's top three.
The event featured just fewer than 1,000 competitors ranging in age from 15 to 80.
"It's the people's race," Timothy Marr said. "It's such a community race, one of the most prestigious in Hawaii. It's a big deal."