Pedersen, Capone taste victory on Santa Barbara Triathlon Long Course

Jason Pederson - Triathlon

Jason Pedersen triumphed on the Santa Barbara Triathlon Long Course on Saturday. (Presidio Sports Photos)

Jason Pedersen set a new Santa Barbara Triathlon Long Course record on Saturday, dominating the race in a time of two hours, 41 minutes and 29 seconds, while Lauren Capone won the women’s race for the second consecutive year.

Pedersen, 28, gained a two-minute lead after the 1-mile ocean swim and built upon that during the 34-mile bike ride. Runner-up Chris Foster crossed the finish 12 minutes later in 2:53:37, followed by Jason Smith in third at 2:55:08.

RESULTS: Long Course || Aquabike || Long Course Relay || Tri The Lab Relay

The previous record on the current course was set just last year by Terenzo Bozzone in a time of 2:43:21. Race director Joe Coito pointed out that the course – both its distance and route – has changed several times in the event’s 35-year history.

Pederson said he didn’t think he was on pace when he got to the top of Toro Canyon around Mile 27 of the bike course. But that was the end of the climbs and the final seven miles picked up speed back down to the beach.

“On the bike I had a lead moto – that was perfect for me. Any time we were coming up to a cross street with some traffic – it’s an open course and I haven’t done that too often – motorcyclists and cops were just on it, I didn’t have to ride the brakes because of (their help),” Pedersen explained.

Navigating the unfamiliar course wasn’t a problem for the professional triathlete.

Women's champion Lauren Capone

Women’s champion Lauren Capone

“I don’t think I ever went about 50 meters without seeing an arrow, so I never once thought, “Am I going the right way?’ and that makes a huge difference when you’re pushing hard.”

It’s not the first time that Pedersen and Foster have finished No. 1 and No. 2 in a race before. Foster got the better of Pedersen in September of 2014 at the Herbalife L.A. Triathlon.

“Jason (Pedersen) just crushed us,” Foster said. “When he had two minutes out of the water, I was like, ‘that’s not great,’ but when I heard he had five or six minutes on the bike, I was like, ‘forget it,’ I’ll just work on my pacing, my nutrition.”

Foster was competing at the Santa Barbara Triathlon for the first time since winning in 2006.

It was Smith’s fourth time on the Long Course. After struggling through cramps in a recent attempt to qualify for the Kona Iron Man World Championships, Smith said he was just out to have fun.

“Biking to the start of the race from my house. That’s probably one of the biggest incentives to tell you the truth,” Smith said. “It’s so relaxing, and to do it with your buddies in your home town, it’s nice.”

Capone was 10th overall. The Santa Barbara local was clocked at 3:11:03. She turned in a strong swim and began her first transition with 25:58 on the clock. After a biking time on par with the others in the Women’s Elite Division, Capone closed out her race with the fastest run in the division.

Katie Kyme (3:22:59) was second in the Women’s Elite and Annie O’Donnell (3:23:49) came in third.

Four hundred and seventy two solo athletes finished the race on Saturday. Among them was 76-year-old Hans Dieben, the oldest, and 17-year-old Stephanie Martinez, the youngest.

Other races on Saturday included the Aquabike and Long Course Relay.

The short-course triathlon is on Sunday. The start, finish and transition area are located in front of the Cabrillo Bath House at East Beach.

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