Connie Glueck's first triathlon win couldn't have come at a better place — just down the road from her house in Williamsburg.
"It was an awesome feeling crossing the finish line knowing that I was actually the first female," the 48-year-old Glueck said Monday following her victory in Sunday's inaugural Jamestown Sprint Triathlon at Anniversary Park.
Glueck won the women's overall title by a decisive margin with a time of 1 hour, 6 minutes and 17 seconds. Closest to her in the field of 85 women came Nicole Goerge, 39, of Ruckersville in 1:06:52.
On the morning of her scheduled 7:30 race, Glueck didn't know what to expect, especially with the stormy weather.
"It was thundering and lightning really bad when we got to the race site, so we had to sit in our cars until most of it passed," Glueck said of arriving with her husband, Mike.
The bad weather passed, but led to a couple of changes. The event, which also included an International-distance race, was delayed 30 minutes and race officials decided to cancel the swimming segment in the James River for safety reasons.
So instead of the swim, officials replaced it with an opening one-mile run to go with the other two regular events for the Sprint — a 20-kilometer bike and a 5K run — and for the International, a 40K bike and 10K run.
By the start of her race, Glueck said the rain had stopped but it was very humid and the roads were wet and slippery in places.
Besides topping all the women in the Sprint, what made it an extra-special day for Glueck was beating all but six of the 88 men competing.
After placing fifth in the opening mile run among the women, Glueck took charge in the bike, where she finished first in 35:35. She took a lead of about 90 seconds into the concluding 5K and held on without any problems, placing third in the run (21:23) for the victory.
"I felt like I had a pretty good bike ride and run but there is always room for improvement; that's what makes this sport so much fun," Glueck said.
This wasn't her first sprint triathlon before the home folks, just her best finish by far. She had competed in the past three Patriots' Sprint Triathlons in September, with her best finish being ninth overall in 2009. She was 22nd in 2010 and 13th last year.
Others from the Peninsula made a good showing in the Sprint. Avery Gillem, 15, of Williamsburg placed sixth overall (1:11:53); Heather Cooper, 36, of Carrollton came in seventh (1:13:12); and Kelly Fini, 22, of Williamsburg finished eighth. All three won their age groups along with Holly Northup, 43, of Newport News (1:19:32), Gay Reilly, 50, of Smithfield (1:22:40), and Candace Velez, 62, of Williamsburg (1:34:08).
Male age-group winners included Neil Huckstep, 17, of Williamsburg, 1:12:43; Jason Anderson, 38, of Seaford, 1:07:49; Bart Johnson, 55, of Newport News, 1:08:45, and Frank Saunders, 66, of Newport News, 1:25:07.
In the International race, which preceded the Sprint, Edith Nault of Poquoson and Daniel Ballin of Williamsburg headed the area standouts.
Nault, 24, finished second overall among the 68 women in 1:57:27 and Ballin, 41, placed third overall among the 199 men in 1:50:20.
Nault placed third in the opening run (6:49), second in the bike (1:02:36) and fifth in the 10K (46:00). Ballin was at his best on the bike, taking first in 57:17.
Bruce Pully, 62, of Gloucester Point placed first in his age group (2:05:53) for the men and Jami Callahan-Brill, 46, of Hampton was tops in the women's 45-49 division (2:26:34).
Chris Tuttle of Virginia Beach continued his impressive surge on the Tidewater Golfweek Amateur Tour on Saturday and Sunday by winning his third consecutive tournament.