By BRIAN CUNNIFF
CAPE MAY — Rob Moran made his experience in the Cape May SuperAthalon count Monday evening.
Moran, representing the host patrol, won the run-row-swim triathlon-style race for the third time in the last four years, coming from well behind the leaders after two-thirds of the race to get the win.
Moran was eighth following the second leg of the race, the 1.5-mile row. But a few of the leaders took a southern course into the swim and got caught in a current that pushed them away from the turning buoy. Moran, who posted the second-best 400-yard swim split at 11 minutes, 7 seconds, quickly made up the difference by staying as far north as possible during the swim and won going away.
Moran posted a final time of 44:58.9. The 30-year-old part-time lifeguard who works full-time as a public defender in Atlantic City repeated as champion after also winning in 2016.
Wildwood’s Patrick Clemens used a strong showing in the swim — he had the best split in the leg at 11:00.1 — to place second in 45:42.4 in his first-ever appearance in the race. Clemens, 39, is a former year-round lifeguard in Deerfield Beach, Fla., who moved back to the area when he landed a full-time job as a firefighter in the City of Philadelphia.
Ocean City’s Brian Theiss edged Ocean Beach’s Michael Barrett for third place in 46:27.5. Barrett was timed in 46:27.7.
Randy Townsend of Harvey Cedars rounded out the top five in 47:32.8.
Fourteen lifeguards participated in the 36th annual event.