CAMBRIDGE — A Belgium native and a North Carolina woman earned IRONMAN titles Saturday, Sept. 28, at sixth annual IRONMAN Maryland Triathlon in Cambridge.
Quinten De Vos, of Knokke-Heist, Belgium, won the men's competition with a time of 8:46:35. Meghan Fillnow, of Charlotte, N.C., won top honors in the women's competition with a time of 9:37:23.
More than 2,400 athletes from 65 countries competed in the triathlon, which began early Saturday morning at Gerry Boyle Park at Great Marsh with a 2.4-mile swim in the Choptank River along the Cambridge. Athletes then went for a fast and scenic 112-mile bike ride through Dorchester County and into Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. The day finishes with a 26.2-mile run on flat country roads and into downtown Cambridge. The finish line was again at Long Wharf Park in Cambridge.
The event offered 40 coveted age-group qualifying slots to the 2020 IRONMAN World Championship, taking place in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
De Vos recored a 1:02:50 swim, and a 4:36:53 bike. His times trailed leader David Morris by more than 11 minutes. But De Vos ran a blazing fast 2:59:27 to beat Morris by just over a minute.
Morris finished second at 8:47:40. Bradley Fleming came home third at 8:53:09. Christopher Hess and Michael Stanek rounded out the top five at 9:02:49 and 9:03:49, respectively.
Fillnow began her day with a 1:05:56 swim, about 11 minutes behind leader Miranda Tomenson. Fillnow only gained one second on Tomenson during the 112-mile bike ride. Fillow passed Tomenson during the run with a blazing 3:19:32 time. She beat Tomenson by more than nine seconds to take the win.
Tomenson finished at 9:46:48. Rocio Rodriguez Vallejo took third at 10:03:47. Ann Hammer and Susan Fanning rounded out the top five with times of 10:09:01 and 10:18:50, respectively.
IRONMAN Maryland was held six months after former race director Gerry Boyle died. Boyle, 68, died in his Cambridge home on March 26. He organized the IRONMAN Eagleman 70.3, and later was instrumental in bringing IRONMAN Maryland to Cambridge in 2014. Competitors from more than 50 countries compete at the Cambridge event — one of only 12 full Ironman triathlons in the United States.
The city of Cambridge honored IRONMAN Maryland’s former race director, the late Gerry Boyle Monday, Sept. 23, by renaming a city park Gerry Boyle Park at Great Marsh.
“Gerry did so much for Cambridge and Dorchester County by volunteering his time for numerous occasions and always looking for ways to improve our town and what it could offer this town,” IRONMAN Maryland Race Director Angie Hengst said. “I could not think of a better way to honor his legacy in our community than by bestowing his name at this park.”
Boyle’s significant contributions throughout the Maryland community were recognized with a tribute video in his honor Thursday evening, Sept. 26, at the Welcome Ceremony for IRONMAN Maryland.
“Since he passed, so many things we are realizing what he has done with the community and what he has done for the people,” Boyle’s niece Juli Strohmer said during the Sept. 23 ceremony. “He would come over to our house on Sunday and he never talked about himself or what he did for the community. And through is passing you realize so much and everybody has come together since his passing and we are very humble the entire family. To have the sign here, but at the same time he would be proud.”