John Savage, a 28 year-old teacher from Oakland, and Corrie Lyle, 39, of Venice, who works in law enforcement, won the mens and womens divisions of the Bass Lake Classic Triathlon May 30.
Corrie’s brother Robby, 37, won the men’s division in the shorter Sprint for the second year in a row.
Although the brother and sister live in Southern California, they have spent all or part of their summers at Bass Lake for more than 25 years.
“It’s special for us to win here,” Corrie said. “This is our home course.”
Savage, who also won the race in 2013, completed the course in 2:12:50, and Lyle had a time of 2:49:36 in winning back-to-back championships.
Savage overcame the loss of training time over the past six months due to some significant injuries including achilles issues, injuries from a 35 mph bike crash, and recent knee problems to win the Olympic distance multi-event race (one mile swim, 25 mile bike, and six mile run).
“I was really unsure how it was going to go,” Savage said after the race. “I didn’t run at all the week leading up to the race. I also knew that AJ Reid was going to be at the race, and we have raced against each other many times, and I know he is fast.”
Savage is an honors chemistry, and anatomy and physiology teacher at Piedmont High School (his alma mater), where he also coaches water polo.
Savage won the race in 2013, and was pushed throughout most of the race by Reid, 23, who was attempting to make it to the top of the winner’s podium for the second consecutive year.
The second place Reid (2:13:21), stayed within reach of Savage through the one mile swim, and caught Savage in the transition area after the 25 mile bike ride. The pair ran side-by-side through the run, until the four mile mark of the six mile run, when Savage pulled ahead winning by 31 seconds.
Savage has been doing triathlons for five years, and it was his second appearance at the Bass Lake event.
“This is the second time I have done this race, and I have won it both times (2013 and 2015),” Savage said. “I do triathlons to keep myself fit, and because I like to race.”
Third place went to Michael Ingardia, 45, with a time of 2:19:57.
“We rode the rest of the way changing who was leading every couple of miles, neither of us generating any significant gap,” Savage said. “I would usually push past him on the hills, he would go by me on the flats and descents. AJ has made big gains on his riding in the past year.”
Savage got to the bike run transition area with a small lead on Reid AJ, but Reid caught him early in the run.
“My goal was to stick to him (Reid) as long as I could,”Savage said. “We ran the first four miles together, and after that, I put down a small effort and got a small lead that I wouldn’t relinquish. I didn’t know that I was going to hold on to win until I was about 100 yards from the finish when I took a quick glance back and saw my lead.”
Savage had his personal best time in the run by two minutes, the run was a two minute personal record for him, and he was a minute faster on the bike from the last time he raced.
“That partly has to do with AJ pushing me the whole time ... He raced very well, and I look forward to racing against him again,” Savage said. “Despite my recent injuries, I have been putting in some good work with my teammates, and the guidance from my coach Martin Spierings has obviously helped. You really have to push yourself and if you let up, there’s someone right behind you ready to take your place.”
Savage is a member of Team Every Man Jack (EMJ), The sponsoring company sells men’s grooming care products. The president of the company is Ritch Viola, who is the world champion for the half ironman and full ironman distance triathlons in the 40-44 year-old age group. The team is made up of 60 amateur and elite triathletes, most based in the bay area.
Savage said the race is amazing, beautiful, and well run.
“There was plenty of support on the run with two aid stations, the volunteers were all friendly and helpful, and the meal after the race by the Lions Club was great,” Savage said. I hope that the race continues to expand, and I plan on coming back in future years.”
Corrie was the No. 18 overall in the race of 216 men and woman. She finished eight minutes ahead of the women’s second place finisher, Amanda Lumbard. Third place in the women’s division went to Amanda Swan with a time of 2:57.34. Her 2:48.33 time last year, placed her No. 26 overall out of 179 competitors.
Corrie was the first woman out of the water and gained about five minutes on her closest competitor on the bike course.
“The bike is my strongest event, and the Bass Lake bike course is my favorite of all the races I’ve been in,” Corrie said. “This is a fun event, and I’m honored to win it for the second consecutive year.”
She said the event was a good tune-up for her preparation for a half ironman (1.5 mile swim, 66 mile bike, 13.1 mile run) race she will compete in next month in Sonoma.
Corrie said she will be back next year to defend her title against all the ‘youngins.’
Robby and Corrie Lyle, siblings from Southern California, each ended the morning with first place medals around their necks.
Robby, who lives in Thousand Oaks and is the executive vice-president of Elite Airways, won the men’s division in the Sprint race for the second year in a row.
The siblings have been training together for the past five years.
Corry, who was a high school cheerleader and swimmer, taught her brother how to swim and he taught her how to race on a bike.
Corrie and Robby are the children of Robert and Susan Lyle of Bass Lake.
Lyle and Gardner win Sprit race
In the Sprint race (quarter mile swim, 12 mile bike, three mile run), Illi Gardner, 16, was the first to cross the finish line, ahead of 216 other competitors, in 1:11.31.
Second place overall was last year’s winner Robby Lyle (Corrie’s 37 year-old brother) in 1:12.26. Third place went to Gunnar Granquist, 50, in 1:13:46.
Collins wins 5K
The 5K event, which benefited Yosemite High School Athletics, and the Yosemite Gateway Association of Realtors Scholarship Fund, was won by Jeremy Collins, 33, in 22:21. Xou Xiong finished second in 22:40, and London Avery was third in 24:03.
There were 39 participants in the 5K.
For complete race results, go to basslaketri.com.