San Luis Obispo’s Kevin Cooper, 53, was not the men’s winner of Sunday’s 34th-annual San Luis Obispo Triathlon.
On Tuesday, the City of San Luis Obispo Parks and Recreation Department, the event organizers, confirmed Tulare’s Eric Blaine as the official men’s winner.
The parks department provided incorrect results to The Tribune on Sunday and in those results, not only listed Copper as the winner, but his time of 1 hour, 2 minutes, 6 seconds would have been the fastest in the event’s history.
Because of space restrictions in the pool, start times are staggered throughout the day, and the first people to cross the finish line are often not the fastest overall. Cooper crossed the finish line after 11 a.m. in 1:19:16, according to revised results released Tuesday.
Blaine, 29, completed the event in 1:11.09.
Blaine’s time does not approach the course record, which still belongs to seven-time first-place finisher Chris Stehula, a former collegiate national club champion who finished in 1:04:05 in his latest performance in 2011.
Cooper, a the longtime participant in the event, said Tuesday morning than he hoped the correct first-place finisher would be acknowledged.
The triathlon relies on hundreds of volunteers to ensure the event runs smoothly, including the hand-written recording of start times and finish times, which are then input into a computer program and sorted electronically.
Times for the nearly 1,000 annual entries immediately following the race are unofficial and are typically double-checked for accuracy in full by the end of the week, race director Rich Ogden said.
All other times and background information from the triathlon report that appeared in Monday’s edition of The Tribune was confirmed by Cooper and Ogden to be correct.