Lidbury, Wade dominate Santa Barbara Triathlon

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Near perfect race conditions led to a fast day at the Santa Barbara Triathlon on Saturday morning as Emma-Kate Lidbury set a new women’s record and overall winner Robbie Wade came in over five minutes ahead of last year’s winning time.

Emma-Kate Lidbury - Santa Barbara Triathlon

Emma-Kate Lidbury shortly after finishing Saturday’s race.

Wade’s top overall mark was two hours and 49 minutes flat. The San Antonio resident was competing in Santa Barbara for the first time.

“I felt good. Beautiful day, beautiful course. Everyone was awesome out there cheering, having fun,” Wade said.

After finishing the opening swim leg in 8th place, Wade posted the fastest split on wheels and then solidified his lead with the second-fastest time in the run.

“The bike course was awesome. It was really pretty, I had fun out there on the bike,” Wade said. “This weather is cool for me so I was like, I figured I would push myself a little bit on the second half of the run, so I came back a little faster.”

Lidbury’s time was 3:05.50. Olympic silver medalist Michellie Jones won in 2006 with a time of 3:06.25.

She’s been doing a lot of ocean swimming in Santa Monica lately and the swimming proved to be her best leg.

“The bike was harder than I thought it would be,” Lidbury said. “Very twisty-turny, not that many places where you can get into a real solid rhythm.

“For a triathlon, the bike course is quite technical.”

Lidbury was seventh overall. Adrienne Hengels was the second-place women’s finisher in 12th overall.

Robbie Wade - Santa Barbara Triathlon

Triathlon winner Robbie Wade less than a tenth of a mile from the finish line on Saturday.

“I really enjoyed it from start to finish,” Lidbury said.

Both winners used the race to prepare for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in two weeks in Las Vegas.

Last year’s champion, Max Biessmann of Irvine, placed second at 2:57.02. Third-place finisher Jason Smith also broke three hours at 2:59.40 but took a 12-minute penalty that knocked him down to 10th.

Biessmann was in the lead after the swim, which he acknowledged is his strength. A missed turn on the bike course cost him the lead.

“My own fault for not knowing the race,” Biessmann said.

Keeping a positive attitude despite the mishaps was a victory in itself for the past champion.

“And then I was running, figured I had a decent gap that I could try to make up, and ran off course again. I don’t what was going on today, but I had a great day, you know. I kept level-headed so I’m happy. Second place is good for me.”

Other winners included Kyle Visin in the aqua bike race and the Platinum Performance Elite team of Gary Hall Jr, Andres Malovos and Todd Booth in the relay. The trio’s combined time was 2:48.38.

The relay team consisting of Adrienne Brown, Kevin Frederick Lewis and Joy Moats triumphed in the co-ed relay. The Santa Barbara High team of Ben Brewer, Jack Leach and Tanner Munizich finished third.