The fourth annual Riverhead Rocks Olympic Distance Triathlon had at least one significant difference from the first three. The winner was not named Tim Steiskal.
The Brookhaven man’s three-year hold on his favorite triathlon event was brought to an end on Sunday morning. It took an aspiring professional, Anthony Chan of Flushing, to do it.
Those who had watched the first three Riverhead triathlons had become accustomed to seeing Steiskal hit the tape at the finish line in victory. Not this time. This time it was Chan, who triumphantly pounded his chest after crossing the finish line in front of the Suffolk Theater on Main Street in Riverhead.
Chan, 24, cycled past Steiskal during the 40-kilometer bike ride and ran past Shawn Faurot of New York City during the 10-kilometer run to secure his first triathlon victory in 2 hours 5 minutes 48 seconds.
Faurot (2:09:10) and Tim Walton of Noyac (2:12:01) finished before Steiskal came in fourth in 2:12:42.
Steiskal, 25, however, did earn the Steve Tarpinian Swim Award for clocking the fastest swim time, 22:17. Steiskal was the first one out of the water following a one-and-a-half-kilometer swim in Peconic River and the first one on the bike. But it was Faurot who was the first one to whiz by on his bike to the transition area before the run, with Chan not too far behind him.
Chan’s run of 38:15 — the third-fastest in the race — was enough to propel him to the victory.
Because of the race’s staggered start — the athletes began the swim one at a time, spaced three seconds apart — it wasn’t immediately clear who had won the women’s race, Karen Pompay of Garden City or Danielle Sullivan of West Islip.
The official results later showed that Pompay, 45, had won in 2:21:28. It was the third straight runner-up finish in the Riverhead race for Sullivan, whose time was 2:22:49.
Katie Boland of Massapequa, a former Columbia University swimmer, showed off her swimming skills. Boland had the second-fastest swim time overall (22:19) and was the first woman off the bike. She ended up as the third-place finisher in 2:27:23.
The top local finisher among the men was Caleb Justis of Riverhead, who was 27th in 2:31:29. The top local woman was Susan Duff of Riverhead; she was 33rd in 3:25:52.
The race director, Victoria Ventura, said 225 athletes signed up for the race, a slight dropoff from last year.
CAPTION: Katie Boland, who had the second-fastest swim time, finished third in the woman’s race in the fourth annual Riverhead Rocks Olympic Distance Triathlon. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)