Smyers Excels at Colchester Triathlon

The Vermont Senior Games showcases numerous elite athletes, and one of the best showed off her talent at the Colchester Triathlon on Sunday July 28, 2019.

            On a pleasant, breezy morning almost 400 athletes tackled the 600-yard swim (or 1.5-mile kayak), 12 mile bike ride, and 5K run. In a remarkable performance, 61-year-old Adamant, Vermont athlete Donna Smyers completed the tri course in a mere 1:09:17, finishing 12th overall in the race and crossing the line as the second female competitor, trailing the women’s winner by only 23 seconds.

            Indeed, Smyers’ race was so impressive that she was the first VSG athlete to finish, beating all the men. And that’s no surprise, since Donna Smyers is a USA Triathlon Hall of Fame member and has earned six Ironman World Championship age group titles. It was truly a pleasure to watch her compete.

            Among other VSG highlights, Timothy Duff of South Burlington took the very competitive men’s 55-59-year-old category with a fine 1:15:08 time, just besting Underhill’s Paul Menichelli. Matt Chandler from Shelburne took the bronze.

            Also in the men’s divisions, Justin Wygmans of Charlotte won the gold for 50-54-year-olds with a 1:23:27 time, and Steve Meunier from Essex posted a strong 1:25:46 effort for the title among 65-69-year-olds.

            Waterbury’s Heidi Higgins-Cutler clocked the fastest VSG time for women after Smyers, with a 1:23:06 race in the 50-54-year-old age group. Deb Laskarzewski from Essex Jct. was right behind her in silver-medal-position at 1:23:50.

            Shelburne native Diana Armstrong was gold-medalist in the 55-59 division with a 1:24:30 result, and Bristol’s Wendie Puls’ 1:27:58 time took the women’s crown among the 65-69-year-olds.