Hundreds of participants bolted through the starting line Sunday morning at Crown Valley Community Park, where the city held its very first hosted by Go Forward Racing Inc.
The series of events included a 5K, 10K, 1K kid’s run, duathlon and reverse sprint-distance triathlon. Duathletes ran a total of 10K through the recreational trails of Crown Valley Community Park and Laguna Niguel Regional Park and completed a 17K bike ride through the streets of Laguna Niguel. The triathletes ran 5K, completed a 17K bike ride and finished their race with a 150-meter swim at the Crown Valley Community Pool.
Reverse triathlons begin with the run, followed by the bike race and end in the pool.
After the races were completed, medals were handed out by Laguna Niguel councilman Jerry McCloskey amid a crowd of cheering athletes.
PJ Quealy from Laguna Beach came in first overall in the 10K run with a time of 42:17:37. Even though Quealy, 37, stated that it was not his personal best time, he was still happy with his performance and praised the event, stating it was “nice and cool.”
One distinguished participant was Olympic water polo silver medalist and
triathlete Julie Ertel, who came in third overall in the triathlon with a time of 51:42:29.
Laguna Niguel councilman Jerry Slusiewicz was another distinguished triathlon participant along with his son Jaden, 12, and daughter Sierra, 14, who both earned medals in their gender divisions and age groups for the 5K run.
When asked how he felt about his performance for his very first triathlon, Slusiewicz laughed, “I just wanted to survive.”
With a large smile on his face, Slusiewicz complimented the beautiful weather and was happy with the turnout.
“I’m glad they (Go Forward Racing) picked Laguna Niguel to host this event,” he said. “I hope it gets bigger and better every year.”