Cory Nounnan crossed the finish line of the Santa Cruz Sprint 4 Fun triathlon in 2 hours, 9 minutes, 28.5 seconds — roughly 0.4 seconds ahead of his mother, Leean Nounnan.
But his finishing time was far less significant than his age.
Cory, a Felton native, is 9 years old.
Not only was he the youngest competitor to finish the race, but he was the only child in the division he competed in. The second youngest competitor in Sunday’s race was 15, but had a different starting time.
“I felt sort of lonelyish, because there were no other kids and I didn’t know anyone else besides my mom and my friend’s mom,” Cory said. “But I knew I could finish the distances.”
Cory, his mother and their friend Stacy Monowitz completed a 750-meter swim off Cowell’s Beach in Santa Cruz, a 12-mile bike ride along West Cliff Drive and a 5-kilometer run from Depot Park to the lighthouse on West Cliff and back.
The sprint triathlon Sunday, Aug. 12, was the first Cory had competed in, but he trained by swimming in the ocean and running the 5-kilometer Firecracker race in Santa Cruz on July 4.
“I’m really proud of my child for keeping a good attitude through the whole race,” Nounnan said.
Race organizers from Finish Line Productions said Cory was one of the youngest competitors to compete in a triathlon in Santa Cruz. An 8-year-old competed several years ago. But
“At first, my friend Shay (Monowitz) was going to do it with us, but he sprained his ankle playing soccer, so he couldn’t do it,” Cory said.
He said he enjoyed running and biking and called the swim the most difficult portion of the race.
Complete results are online at www.finishlineproduction.com.