AS THE saying goes, good things come in pairs. That was certainly the case in this year's Tiburon Mile where overall champion Kane Radford and first place female finisher Melissa Gorman both earned their second consecutive titles in the race from Ayala Cove on Angel Island to the beach at the Corinthian Yacht Club in Tiburon on Sunday.
"It was quite a tough race out there today. There was a great group of guys, and obviously Melissa and a few of the girls, out there competing," said Radford who has won this event in 2009, 2011 and 2012. "Nothing is better than winning back-to-back (titles). I'm starting to really enjoy this race. It's one of the best in the world and it's great to be able to come out here year after year."
Radford finished in 21 minutes, 43 seconds — just two seconds faster that second-place finisher Ridge Grimsey.
Gorman didn't just win her second consecutive female title (this is her third first-place finish in the last four years) but she gave the men a run for their money as she finished third overall with a time of 21:46.
"It was such a motivation for me just to try and stay with (the guys) and I actually think I overtook them for a little bit in the race. It gave me that added incentive to get to the finish line," said Gorman, who took a slight lead around the halfway mark. "I love this weekend. It's probably one of my favorite weekends on the ocean."
Radford and Gorman weren't the only ones defending their titles out in the water.
Emilio De Somma, a 14 year-old Belvedere resident, earned his third consecutive Mayor's Cup trophy given out to the fastest non-wetsuit swimmer from Tiburon and/or Belvedere, finishing in 25:11.
"I really like doing it. I like to win," De Somma said. "It's kind of nice having a hometown race. It's a hard race, but it's rewarding."
De Somma wasn't the only Marin resident that found success against these world-class athletes. Sausalito's Adam Hinshaw was the first Marin resident to cross the finish line, taking home 15th place overall (10th in the men's elite division) with a time of 22:31.
Kimberly Baca, a Tam High senior, finished 53rd overall (17th in the women's elite division) with a time of 26:23.
"Since I only trained for a few weeks before the event I was pretty happy with how I did," Baca said. "I like the amount of people that cheer you on and how many world-class swimmers come to this event. It just has so much energy."
Justin O'Reilly, a San Rafael resident, won the over 40 year-old wetsuit division in a time of 25:52.
"The conditions were perfect. It was really smooth," O'Reilly said. "There were a couple of cold spots, but other than that it was great."
The Tiburon Mile brought out more than just swimmers. The entire community was welcome to sit at the water's edge, watch the race, eat food and listen to live music.
"The event is great, it's fantastic. In fact, it's our second year coming," said Tom Payne, who is watching his 14 year-old son Kenny compete. "It's just a great little town — great venue for a swim. (My son) has really grown to love the Tiburon (Mile). I think he's going to do it every year."
Contact Mark O'Meara via email at email@example.com