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Luttekes, Harper Top Male, Female Finishers in Love City Triathlon

Sept. 4, 2005 –– Dick Luttekes, a 43-year-old pharmacist from St. Maarten, took home top honors for the men at the Love City Triathlon for the second year in a row.
And St. Croix's Theresa Harper for the first time tasted victory.
"Always a bridesmaid," she joked as she caught her breath after crossing the finish line.
She was second last year to St. Maarten's Saskia Schroten, who did not race this year. Harper said she finished second for the last six years.
Harper, 39, who teaches at Country Day School, said she and her husband, John, went to watch the Tour de France. While there, she biked the Pyrenees, a good preparation for St. John's hills.
"This year, I handled the hills better," she said.
With a time of 1:47:41, she beat her 2004 time by about seven minutes.
Luttekes was the first biker over the line.
"I wanted to go the fastest because I can't run," he said as pulled on his running shoes after ditching his bike.
His fears did not come true and Luttekes went on to clean up with a time of 1:29:12. However, he said he had bad knees and could not practice running before the event.
He said he was a lot faster on the bike this year, and his swim was perfect.
Second for the men went to Reggie Douglas, a 28-year-old assistant bicycle shop manager from Nevis who was running for the first time on St. John.
He said he wasn't bothered by the heat.
"When I was on my bike, I wasn't thinking about anything," he said.
St. Maarten's Michael Bacon came in third in the men's division.
"The hills are charming. The blood and vomit all over the hills are mine," he joked.
Bacon, 39, is a construction manager.
Kathy Laseter of St. John took second, one place up from last year's third place finish.
"The swim was tough at the start. The bike was kind of hard, but I had a really good run. I don't know where it came from," she said.
Laseter, 40, is a certified public accountant for the Catholic Diocese of the Virgin Islands.
Third place for the women went to St. John's Jodie Tanino, 46, who works at Asolare Restaurant.
"I wasn't training that hard, but I tried to get more biking in," she said.
She acknowledged that living on St. John gave her a slight edge, but said she hadn't even run the entire course before the race.
A woman's relay team from St. Croix comprised of Elizabeth Tilden, Sue Brown and Rachael Witty took first place with a time of 1:25:03.
Second went to a St. John team of Eric Baumann, Han Winogrod and David Geiger with a time of 1:45:26.
St. Croix captured the Inter-island Award.
The Bill Gladfelter award went to St. John resident Yulandra Potter for her long history of assisting at various bicycle-oriented event on St. John.
Committee member Jeff Miller said Potts, who is battling a serious illness, serves as an inspiration for the participants.
Gladfelter, who was a frequent participant in Virgin Islands athletic events, died of cancer in 2003.
The Love City Triathlon brought out 61 people competing in men's, women's and relay divisions. In addition to the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, participants came from Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, Nevis, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Utah.
The course included half-mile swim at Great Maho Bay, 14-mile bicycle ride from Great Maho Bay around the island to a finish near Annaberg Plantation and four-mile run. However, committee member Jude Woodcock said technical problems shortened the run to 3.25 miles.
Alexa Putnam was one of the many volunteers working near the finish line. A skeleton racer, said she and her father, Bern Putnam, came out because so many of the same people volunteering and participating in the Love City Triathlon had helped her in her athletic career.
"We support amateur athletics," Bern Putnam said.
Woodcock said that next year, the event may include a duathon, which will include only swim and run portions. She said it's hard to find people to tackle the island's hills on their bikes.
The event is organized by the St. John Landsharks, a group of volunteers who saw their chief organizer, Louise DePuy, leave the island this year. They regrouped and got it organized.
"The Landsharks did it by committee," Miller said.
Here's a wrap up of the winner:
1. Dick Luttekes, St. Maarten, 1:29:12.
2. Reggie Douglas, Nevis, 1:36:00
3. Michael Bacon, St. Maarten, 1:36:03.
1. Theresa Harper, St. Croix, 1:47:41.
2. Kathy Laseter, St. John, 2:03:10.
3. Jodie Tanino, St. John, 2:06:35.
1. Elizabeth Tilden, Sue Brown and Rachael Witty, St. Croix, 1:25:03.
2. Eric Baumann, Han Winogroud, David Geiger, St. John, 1:45:26.

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