With no real competition in the field, Ryan Siebert, the 22-year-old triathlete from Patchogue, swam, biked, and ran away with Saturday’s Mighty Montauk triathlon, winning the Olympic-distance event by about seven minutes.
It was Siebert’s second win at Montauk in the past three years. He first won there in 2012, at the age of 20, in 1 hour, 52 minutes, and 46.5 seconds. This year, his winning time was 1:48:42.6.
Luke Tuddenham, 35, of New York City, a native-born Australian who competes with the strong Full Throttle club, was the runner-up, in 1:56:08.5.
“After the first buoy [in the mile-long Lake Montauk swim that began the race], he took off,” said Tuddenham, who added, “he’s a monster on the bike. He came in four or five minutes ahead of me.”
The winner (whose mother, Denise, won at Montauk in 1984) recently won the REV3 Quassy triathlon in Connecticut, and placed second in JerseyMan. His uniformly good results, he said, were owing to the fact that for the past year he had been injury-free.
“Usually, I’d get injured over the winter,” he said, “though I’m staying on top of the aches now, listening to my body,” said Siebert, who recently graduated from St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics.
He trains, he said, 20 hours a week — swimming “either at St. Joe’s or at Suffolk Community College in Brentwood three to four days a week, and running and biking five days a week.” Working at Mike Monastero’s Babylon Bike Shop enables to him to put in the training hours he needs, Siebert added.
“He’s been doing triathlons since he was 10,” Denise Siebert said. “He always told me he wanted to win Montauk, ever since he saw my name on a list of winners that Merle used to put up.”
Her son said he’d started out as a hockey player, but injuries had persuaded him to switch to swimming and triathloning in his mid-teens.
His chief Long Island rival — and training partner — Tom Eickelberg, whom the race director, Merle McDonald-Aaron had thought would come, and who undoubtedly would have gone head-to-head with Siebert, did not show. “He’s training in Burlington, Vt., at the moment — the trip would have been too much,” said Siebert, who lost to Eickelberg in the Lighthouse Sprint triathlon here last July, but beat him — “because of the long [24.8-mile] bike” — in the Quassy race in Middlebury, Conn., last month.
Tuddenham could take heart, nevertheless, in the fact that while he was getting older he was getting better. “This is my fourth time here, and the best I’d done until today was third.”
Siebert, Tuddenham, and the women’s winner, Hana Sykorova, 34, of New York City, said they’ll do the Lighthouse Sprint in July, as did a number of others in Saturday’s field.
It was her first time at Mighty Montauk, said Sykorova, a native of the Czech Republic, who placed 13th over all in 2:06:36.8. She won Chris Pfund’s half-Ironman in Montauk in the fall of 2010, she said, and recently won a half-Ironman in Harriman State Park.
“The conditions were perfect,” she said. “You couldn’t have hoped for better ones.” As for her competition, she said, “I knew I had to catch Katie [Bottini, a 27-year-old from Wilton, Conn.]. She’s a great runner. I passed her on the bike at around the sixth or seventh mile.”
Among the local entrants who did well were Doug Milano, 30, of Aquebogue, a former Golden Gloves boxer who teaches seventh and eighth-grade math at the East Hampton Middle School, and Evan Drutman, 50, of New York and East Hampton, who was happy with the fact that he had been taken into the elite wave for the first time in the some 20 years he’s been doing Montauk. Milano and Drutman — with his 8-year-old yellow Lab, Glory — will do the Lighthouse Sprint.
Milano, who said his transitions, between the swim and the bike, and the bike and the run, were improving, was 25th that day, in 2:10:20.9, and Drutman was 41st, in 2:15:59.5.
Erin Tintle, 42, of East Hampton, topped the female 40-to-44 division, in 2:27:31.2.
Among other local competitors were Mike Bottini, Tim Treadwell, Kevin Fee, Ryan Struble, David Pitches, and John Barylsky.
A Montauk summer resident, David Schnitzer, 29, has been doing this race since 2006 in memory of his father, Ross, who died of a heart attack in 2005, and whose ashes were later scattered in Lake Montauk.
“He started doing it as an individual to raise money for the American Heart Association,” said David’s mother, Lana, who was among Saturday’s spectators. “Now, he’s got 10 friends doing it with him. . . . It’s an emotional thing. His father loved Montauk, he loved fishing in Lake Montauk.”
The beneficiaries of the triathlon, named in memory of the late Robert Aaron, are the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research, the Montauk Senior Citizens Nutrition Center, the East Hampton Town Police Benevolent Association, the Montauk Ambulance Company, Phoenix House, and the St. Therese of Lisieux youth ministry.