Bay Area siblings dominate day one of 37th Donner Lake Triathlon
The first of two days of competition at Donner Lake kicked off on Saturday morning, bringing hundreds of athletes to the area’s West End Beach for the 37th Donner Lake Triathlon.
Siblings Kevin Bishop and Kelly Bishop swept the day’s featured event, the Donner Lake Sprint Triathlon, with each taking home a first-place on the shortened triathlon course.
“We come up to Tahoe every summer,” said Kevin Bishop. “And this is the thing we want to do.”
This is the third straight year the family has made the trip to Donner Lake from their home in Los Altos, Calif., to compete in the sprint triathlon, and the third consecutive year Bishop has taken top honors in the race.
“I’m much, much fitter now,” he said on this year’s race. “I just started racing full time this year, so I’ve got hours and hours more fitness now.”
Bishop, 24, would cross the line with a time 37 minutes, 35 seconds, besting his previous fastest time of 39:05, which he set at last year’s race. He’d finish this year’s event with the fastest swim and run legs, and second fastest time on the bike, calling the 1,000 feet of climbing the most difficult but most rewarding part of the race.
“You get to the top and you’re on the bridge, and you’ve got this beautiful view of the lake and the valley,” said Bishop. “It’s unbeatable, we come here mostly for that.”
Bishop’s win came on the heels of taking third place last week at the Magog CamTRI Sprint Triathlon American Cup in Canada, which was his first podium since joining the International Triathlon Union World Triathlon Series.
“I’ve been on a lot of planes lately,” said Bishop on racing full time. “But it’s super fun, I’ve dreamed about it since I was a little kid racing.”
He said he’ll next compete for Team USA at the Lausanne Triathlon World Cup in Switzerland, where he’ll race in his first Olympic distance triathlon in the World Triathlon Series.
Following Bishop at Saturday’s race was Michael Smith, of Santa Barbara, Calif., who finished in third with a time of 40:26. Joshua Cagney was next with a time of 42:21, followed by Truckee’s Evan Opsal, who was the top local athlete with a time of 43:28 for fourth overall and second in his age group.
On the women’s side, Kelly Bishop equaled her brother’s first-place finish with one of her own, crossing the line with a time of 48:13.
“Honestly, I just love this race,” said Bishop. “The whole family has been doing it for three years. It’s one of our top races, the swim is fantastic, the bike course — yeah it’s really hard but it makes it all the more rewarding at the end — and then just a nice little sprint to top it off.”
Bishop, 19, won the race in 2016 with a time of 48:01, and was third last year.
The Bishop family’s prowess at Donner wasn’t limited the to the two siblings, with both parents competing and finishing in the top five in their respective age groups.
Hollis Crowder, who’s Kevin Bishop’s girlfriend, was second on the day in the women’s division with a time of 48:49, followed by top local finisher, Truckee’s Raeleigh Harris, with a time of 49:16.
In the youngster’s races, Truckee’s Amber Hansford claimed first place in the girls’ division with a time of 1:00:28; while Auburn’s Wyatt Hamilton took first in the boys’ race, followed by Truckee’s Braidon Klovstad.
Jack Craig, 76, of Lincoln, Calif., was the day’s oldest competitor, defying age with a time of 1:52:00.
Truckee’s Madigan swims to victory by 1 second
The morning’s competition also included the Alpine Fresh Water Swim on Donner Lake, which came down to the wire in the 2.4-mile distance.
Truckee’s PJ Madigan reached the finish a second ahead of Tyler Fidler, of Bakersfield, Calif., for a first-place time of 50:58.
“It was right into the chutes,” said Madigan on the finish.
Mike Carr gave local swimmers another podium finish, claiming third place with a time of 55:57.
Racing will continue on Sunday with the Olympic distance triathlon, half triathlon, and aquabike.
For complete results or to register for upcoming races, visit DonnerLakeTri.com.