CAMP BLANDING – With just a week to acclimatize, Austria-born triathlete Massimo Kostl added some time to his usual 10K (6.2 mile) finish en route to a three minute win in the annual Hammerhead …
CAMP BLANDING – With just a week to acclimatize, Austria-born triathlete Massimo Kostl added some time to his usual 10K (6.2 mile) finish en route to a three minute win in the annual Hammerhead Olympic Triathlon held Sunday at Camp Blanding’s Lake Kingsley.
“I just arrived a week ago to begin classes at the University of Florida and found the race on the internet,” said Kostl, 22. “I was okay with the heat, but the humidity here is like nothing I have ever felt. I said ‘Let’s do a race 8,000 miles away.’”
Welcome to Florida.
Kostl, a top age group amateur triathlete in his hometown of Vienna, Austria, came to the United States by way of Keystone Heights lawyers James and Mary Sawyer, who were at the race to watch their long-time family friend.
“His mother, Lisa, is a dear friend of ours,” said James Sawyer. “She came from Austia and lived with us in 1990 and was our au-perr. She helped us with our children. Now, 20 years later, we get him to visit us.”
Kostl is set to live and study economics for six months at Florida.
“As long as he is here, he is our fifth child,” said David Taylor.
Kostl overtook early race leader Leo Hobi, 34, of Ponte Vedra, after the second of two laps on the 40K (26 miles) bike segment of the arduous 1.5K (Mile), 40K bike and 10K race then cruised through the run for the win in one hour, 53 minutes, 20.5 seconds with Hobi in at 1:56.12.
“I was okay until the run,” said Kostl, who has run splits of near 34 minutes for the 10K portion of Olympic distance races in Europe. “About halfway through, I knew I was not going to be close and finished in about 38 minutes.”
Behind Hobi, in third place, was veteran James Cardozo of Macclenny who clocked in at 2:12.36.
In the women’s Olympic distance race, Christina Mitchell, 45, of Fleming Island, finished as top master’s as well as top overall finisher in 15th place overall in 2:22.24. In second overall for the women in 17th place overall was Bego Lopez, 49, of Deland, in 2:25.09 with Tracey Kuhn, 46, of Jacksonville, third overall woman in 18th with a time of 2:26.08.
There were 113 finishers for the Olympic distance race.
Area finishers were Rabi Singh, 45, of Fleming Island, in 48th overall and seventh in his age group in 2:42.31; Douglas Coates, 53, of Fleming Island, in 49th overall, fifth in 50-54, in 2:42.44; Lynne Mcwatters, 42, of Middleburg, in 66th overall, first in 40-44, in 2:52.03; Bryan Wagner, 36, of Keystone Heights, in 106th overall, seventh in 35-39, in 3:31.03; Rich Coffey, 46, of Orange Park, 109th overall, 12th in 45-49, in 3:37.25; Ruby Garcia, 45, of Fleming Island, 110th overall, 17th in 45-49, in 3:38.23; Melinda Havel, 35, of Orange Park, 112th overall, fifth in 35-39, in 3:44.19 and Kara Coffey, 46, of Orange Park, in 113th overall, 18th in 45-49, in 3:44.19.