David Carey, of Alexandria, speeds along the bike portion of the Celebration Sprint Triathlon. (Photo by Noah Scialom, Patuxent Publishing / June 25, 2011)

The triathlon has now become the unofficial, official sport of the city of Columbia.

Just over a month after the Columbia Triathlon was run in and around Centennial Lake May 22, the second annual Celebration Sprint triathlon was held June 26 at the same location.

Instead of traveling the Olympic distances that they do at the Columbia Triathlon — a 1.5k swim, 41k bike and 10k run — competitors in the Celebration Sprint Triathlon swim .62 miles, bike 17.5 miles and run 3.4 miles.

Almost 1,000 individuals ages 13-75 attempted the course, with 939 finishers representing 19 states. More than 50 relay teams and 30 couples also completed the course.


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Baltimore's Anthony Van Lierop, 38, was the overall winner, finishing in a time of 1 hour, 20 minutes, 12 seconds and claimed the $800 top prize. Van Lierop improved his winning time from last year by more than three seconds. Benjamin Winterroth, a 30-year old Baltimore resident, was a little more than a over a second behind, finishing in 1:21.15.

Columbia's own Suzanne Serpico, 31, won the women's race in a record time of 1:27.31, beating the previous mark by almost 10 seconds. She won each leg of the triathlon and outpacied a tightly clustered chase pack by more than seven seconds to also win an $800 purse.

Along with her husband, Danny (1:38.54), the Serpicos also easily won the couples race by almost 30 seconds.

For complete results, click here and go to on 'results & photos.'

Nexzt up on the triathlon schedule is the TriColumbia Kidz Triathlon July 24 at the Clemens Crossing Pool, in Columbia, followed by the popular IronGirl Triathlon, which also uses the sprint format, back at Centennial Lake Aug. 21.