Carpenter family teams up to tackle Fulton Triathlon

Heather Vodnansky’s family was cheering her on as she participated in the Fulton Triathlon last year.

Vodnansky’s family decided to get in on the act themselves.

Vodnansky teamed with her father, Bruce Carpenter, and her sister, Allison, while their mother — Marta — supported the trio from the sidelines at the sixth-annual Fulton Triathlon on Saturday morning on the campus of Fulton High School.

The threesome — known as “Carpenters’ Rallytime” — finished in 40th place with a final result of 59 minutes, 40 seconds.

Vodnansky completed the 2013 event in 1:02:48 seconds. The triathlon looked like so much fun that her father and sister thought they’d give it a try this year.

In addition to individual entrants, teams of two or three competed in the triathlon with their separate times in the swimming, biking and running legs combining for the final total.

With that in mind, Heather, Allison and Bruce decided they’d play to each of their strengths.

“I was the best swimmer of the group, so I got to swim, and Heather is good at all of them,” said Allison Carpenter, who works at Auto-Owners Insurance in Columbia. “Dad said he didn’t want to bike.”

Allison led off with a time of 8:03 in the 200-yard swim at Oestreich Swimming Pool. She was followed by Vodnansky, who biked the 6.2-mile course up St. Eunice Road and past the campuses of William Woods and Westminster in 25:52.

Bruce — a retiree of the military and the Fulton Housing Authority — anchored the squad with a finish of 24:28 in the two-mile run through the high school campus.

After performing all three disciplines last year, Vodnansky found that focusing on just one portion resulted in a more efficient biking performance Saturday.

“I really like doing one leg of the race rather than all three, because I felt like I was a lot faster and better at the bike instead of doing the bike after the swim,” said Vodnansky, an attorney for the state public defender’s office in Columbia.

The team goal was simple, according to Bruce Carpenter.

“Our goal was to finish and not be embarrassed,” he joked.

“We didn’t die,” Allison Carpenter added with a laugh.

They accomplished just that, finishing third out of three teams in the competition.

Drew Greaves bested Saturday’s field of 45 entrants with an overall time of 30:41.

The Carpenters plan on going the team route again next year and may add Vodnansky’s husband and Bruce and Marta’s son to field two teams of three.

After rooting them on Saturday, the Carpenters’ matriarch said she’s ready to take part in the race.

“I’ve got to do this next year,” Marta Carpenter said.

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