Area athletes excel in S.F. race

Published Mar 5, 2013 at 04:00AM

SAN FRANCISCO — Three triathletes with Central Oregon ties were among the top finishers Sunday in the 2013 Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon.

Placing first among the women was part-time Bend resident Heather Jackson. Her time over the three-event course — including a 1.5-mile swim starting at Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay, an 18-mile bike ride, and an 8-mile run through Golden Gate National Recreation Area — was 2 hours, 18 minutes, 8 seconds.

Jackson, 29, finished 18th overall in a field of more than 2,000 professional and amateur athletes.

A former Bend resident, Jesse Thomas, finished third overall. A Mountain View High School graduate, Thomas, 33 and now of Springfield, posted a time of 2:06:40.

The overall winner of the 33rd annual event was Javier Gomez Noya of Spain, who was silver medalist in the men’s triathlon at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. His time was 2:04:27.

Placing 10th overall was another Bend entry, Matt Lieto. The 35-year-old finished in a time of 2:13:58.

A 46-year-old Texas man died during the swim portion of the triathlon, apparently of a heart attack, according to reports.

—Staff and wire reports