Friday, June 18, 1999 -- Thurmond, Fayetteville
Captain Thurmond's Challenge
Story and photos by Marty Lamp and Julie Bertsch
|Captain Thurmond stands proud at the starting line|
This triathlon-style event starts in the historically infamous town of
Thurmond, along the banks of the New River. Captain Thurmond himself
was there, firing the gun for the lemans-style start. Once on the
bikes, it was into the woods for some reasonably technical single
track, leaving passing opportunities few and far between. There's no
room for excuses though, because the final 4 miles was a railroad
grade dirt highway right beside the New river, all the way to Cunard.
|Wes McDonald cruisin' to Cunard|
Once paddlers hit the shore below Fayette Station rapid, it was time
for a run up out of the gorge into Fayetteville Town Park, 1000 feet
above the the New River. Although slightly shorter this year, runners
were handed slightly more elevation, staying on Fayette Station Road
until the Kaymoor Trail parking area, where it was left onto rough,
steep single track littered with softball size boulders. Near the very
top, runners gained their stride through soft rolling trails leading
to the park, and an awaiting crowd of impressed spectators.
|Low water made the paddling even more fun|
In the Male Expert Class, John Currier (2:18:32) once again
proved dominant, but Henry Colomb(2:19:25) gave him no time to
rest. Currier beat Colomb to the water by just under three minutes,
but it was Colomb strapping on his running shoes first. Currier was
able to catch Colomb and make up the difference on the run, winning by less
than a minute! Chris Pohowsky(2:26:16) finished third for the
Male Expert solo class.
|Team Truant crushed the run|
In the Team Mixed Expert Class, Blue Ridge Outdoors(2:11:45) carried a small lead all the way to the run, where they left little doubt by running 5 minutes faster than the closest class competitor. Team Teva(2:19:31) finished a close second, and team New River Scenic(2:46:37) took third.
Sarah Gillfillan(2:55:53) took the checkered flag for the Female Class, and Rob Voorhees(2:40:29) led the big boys the whole way to win the Clydesdale Class. For the Male Sports, it was Dwight Shuler(2:31:30) getting the win, while Team Wood, Water, and Wheels(2:22:05) winning the Team Male Sport Class.
After the race, it was time to kick back, listen to some cool live music, and eat some of the great food provided (chicken right off the grill and pasta salad).Thanks to Donnie Hudspeth, Wayne Young, the New River CVB, and all the volunteers who helped make this race happen. We can't wait to come back next year!