James Bockey, 30, of Temperance, left, finished first overall in 2:28:37 and Bob Karalis, 60, of Davisburg, right, finished second in 2:29:11 in the Olympic distance at Saturday’s 12th annual 3 Disciplines Sunrise Side Triathlons in East Tawas.

EAST TAWAS – Athletes from Monroe and Oakland counties won the overall first two places in the Olympic distance during Saturday’s 12th annual 3 Disciplines Sunrise Side Triathlons in East Tawas.

James Bockey, 30, of Temperance, finished first overall in 2:28:37 and Bob Karalis, 60, of Davisburg finished second in 2:29:11. Doug Brant, 53, of Hudsonville was third overall in 2:42:12.

In the Olympic distance triathlon, the athletes swam 1,500-meters in Tawas Bay, biked for 40 kilometers  starting in East Tawas, up Bridge Street to Monument Road to the Huron National Forest and back and finished with a 10 kilometer run through the residential streets of East Tawas.

Samantha Bishop, 29, of Farmington Hills was the female overall winner (11th overall) in the Olympic distance in 2:48:11. Second place went to Sydney Walsh, 31, of Royal Oak in 2:48:51 (12th overall) and the third place finisher overall was Deb Southwell, 51, of Clarkston in 2:54:50 (17th overall).

One local athlete, James Bacarella, 54, of East Tawas finished second in his age group (50-54) in 3:02:41 (21st overall).

About 150 athletes competed this year, which is down considerably for the nearly 400 who competed the previous two years. That’s due to the half ironman distance that was not held for the first time. Kenny Krell, race coordinator and owner of the sponsoring 3 Disciplines Racing, said new competing triathlons in Traverse City this year is resulting about a 30 to 40 percent decrease in the number of athletes for his events this season.

To combat this, Krell said he is looking to hold a trifecta of Sunrise Side events for 2020: in Alpena, Oscoda and East Tawas. The Oscoda event would return after about a decade of absence and likely would be held in the Cedar Lake area. 

In the Sprint distance – 500-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike and 5K run – Allen Hutchinson, 47, of Royal Oak was first in 1:06:13, followed by Micah Zuhl, 41, of Bay City in second in 1:15:20 and Damelirios Marsinas, 34, of Swartz Creek was third in 1:15:58.

For the women in the same event, Britt Vallad, 36, of Bay City was first in 1:18:05, Jillian Morrish, 34, of Fairgrove was second in 1:21:24 and Marcia Honisko, 38, of Lambertville, was third also in 1:21:24.

A total of five Iosco County athletes also competed in the Sprint distance. They are Jeff Loomis, 58, of East Tawas in 1:24:02 (first in his 55-59 age group and 16th overall; Kirk Tews, 39, of Oscoda in 1:26:11 (5th in his 35-39 age group and 19th overall); James King, 42, of East Tawas in 1:35:20 (4th in his 40-44 age group and 33rd overall); Michael Russell, 65, of Tawas City in 1:58:12 (4th in his 65-69 age group and 61st overall); and Emma Pendergrass, 24, of Oscoda in 2:13:33 (3rd in her age group and 68th overall).

In the Super Sprint distance, consisting of a 200-meter swim, 10K bike and one-mile run, Thomas Keerl, 54 of Harrisville was first overall in 40:10, Janina Olivero-Jone, 31, of Casco finished second in her time of 43:41 and Jacob Epling, 25, of Lansing was third in 43:43.

Area athletes were William Richardson, 63, of AuGres in $3:48 for fourth place; Barb Richardson, 50, of AuGres in 45:51 for fifth place; Lars Manne, 9, of Tawas City in 1:01:50 in 18th place; and Emily Manne, 37, of Tawas City also in 1:01:50 for 19th place.

Lastly, in the Sprint Kaya–Tri distance – two miles in a kayak, 20k bike and 5k run – Clifford Onthank, 66, of Traverse City was first overall in 1:28:44, followed by Nathan Tate, 33 of Portage in second in 1:39:47 and Amela Berberovic, 26 of Portage in third in 1:43:19. Local athlete Kevin Ornatowski, 62, of Tawas City was fifth overall in 1:47:33.