Organizers of the second annual Waldo County YMCA Triathlon Festival are so excited about turning people of all ages onto the sport they are brushing aside the sight of many feet of snow outdoors to gear up for the May event — and even giving people advice on how to train.

The event, slated for Saturday, May 14 at the YMCA in Belfast and the surrounding area, includes adult and youth triathlons. The triathlon is unique in the sense that it includes a swim in the indoor pool followed by an outdoor bike ride and run.

Beth Anderson and Jim Wescott are co-organizers of the event, which includes a 525-yard swim in the pool, followed by a 12.2-mile bike ride and then a 3.5-mile run for the older competitors in the morning session.

Last year, Milan Babik, 31, of Waterville was the top overall individual finisher and Carrie Hedstrom, 33, of Camden was the first female finisher. There were 78 adult individual competitors and 14 teams. In total, there were 160 adults and children who competed in the daylong event.

The athletes competed in waves, not in a mass start as most triathlons are conducted. That is because the pool only holds so many swimmers at one time.

Babik proved the best overall, as he completed the swim in 8:17, the bike in 30:49 and the run in 22:31 for an overall winning time of 1:02:29.5. Finishing second for the men was Dave Painter, 49. who had times of 9:17, 32:43 and 22:27 for 1:06:50. Third went to Adam Smith, 23, of Morrill, who finished in 7:14, 33:36 and 26:35 for 1:08:22.2.

For the women, Hedstrom completed the swim in 7:28, the bike in 36:58 and run in 24:35 for an overall winning time of 1:10:19.6. Overall, Hedstrom’s time enabled her to finish fifth overall among men and women.

Second for the women was Martha Fanning, 40, of Cape Elizabeth in 10:47, 37:06 and 25:12 for 1:15:17. Darrah Cunningham, 32, of Morrill was third at 9:23, 40:32 and 24:06 for 1:16:15.4.

Carl Pillitteri, 15, of Belfast, a freshman at Belfast Area High School, was the youngest competitor in the adult/teenage event. He finished seventh among men and eighth overall.

The oldest competitor was Robert Mcartor, 71, of Southport, who finished 28th among men.

Now it is time to gear up for the second Waldo County YMCA triathlon.

“We would like to the get the word out to the community and plant the seed in a way that reminds folks that spring is coming and they still have time to get ready and train,” Anderson said.

To help with that training, Anderson said husband and wife, Tom and Carrie Hedstrom of Camden, both of whom have competed in the highest level Ironman/Ironwoman competitions (Tom in Lake Placid, N.Y. and in Hawaii and Carrie in Lake Placid), will direct an informational session on the sport Sunday, Feb. 27 at 1 p.m. at the YMCA.

“We are hoping that these two tri-stars can offer answers to all questions pertaining to triathlon as well as offer training suggestions to those who may want to compete but not know where to start,” said Anderson, a strong triathlete in her own right (she was the first female finisher in the 2010 Hope Sprint Triathlon).

Anderson said this year’s YMCA triathlon festival will offer a new category — Teen Team — for the morning portion of the race. “We are hoping to start a friendly competition among the local high schools and offer an award to that school that puts the fastest team together,” she said.

Also, Anderson said organizers of the event lowered the cost for the children’s event, for those ages 13 and younger, who compete in the afternoon after the adult and older youth triathlon finishes, to $10 for both YMCA members and non-members.

Village NetMedia Regional Editor/Sports Director Ken Waltz can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at kwaltz@villagesoup.com.