Saturday, April 28, 2001 -- Marlinton, WV
Great Greenbrier River Race (iPO Event Id#: 2643)
Story and photos by Don Parks
The Greenbrier River Race, now in its 15th year, is a triathlon
consisting of roughly four miles of canoeing or kayaking the
Greenbrier River, nine miles of cycling the Greenbrier River Rail
Trail, and another three miles of running on the Rail Trail. Boats
and bikes of all shapes and styles, and kids, adults and families of
all ages and sizes came out for an afternoon of great fun and
exercise. It is also good to know that all funds benefit the
non-profit Greenbrier River Trail Association (www.GreenbrierRiverTrail.com). It is well
deserved as they work hard to but together a quality event that is fun
The Daly Kids, a true family relay team with Dad (Tim) providing a lot of co-piloting duties and Mom (Susie) doing her best to manage the team. The "Kids" included 7-year-old Anne paddling in the front of a tandem kayak, 9-year-old Billy on the attack for the bike leg, 10-year-old Emily kicking it up for the run, and 6-year-old Megan and 3-year-old Ryan providing cheerleading duties. Out racing in their dark green jerseys, it was nothing but smiles for a family that truly knows how to play together.
Even the defending champs Father, Son and Holey Boat, were from
the ranks of the family teams. However, the new and larger field
would make a repeat of their overall title from 2000 difficult. "I
kind of feel like we have a bulls-eye painted on our chests," said
Thomas Samples, the "Son" portion of the family tandem.
Another team from Lexington, Virginia, The Guy from Fairfield and his Band of Hooligans took the Youth division title using Steve Baur (Canoe), Nick Clayton (Canoe), Jesse Ford (Bike), and Chris Patterson (Run). For them is was Patterson's 16:58 in the run, the third best run time, that put them in position for the win. The team races often with the Lexington Strongmen, Nick's uncle was on the winning team, and as Baur said, "We're trying to beat them, but they're not getting old fast enough!"
Even the the solo division winners hinted of a family in the making.
It was a double win for Sarah Crandall and her fiance Kevin
Fletcher, both from Charleston, West Virginia, and racing for
Outdoor Extremes. While Fletcher contributed his success to
consistency throughout the three events, Crandall said she excelled on
the bike and, as a result, suffured on the run.
As for the defending champs, things started slow with a less than desireable position at the paddle put-in resulting from their Family team classification. A strong bike and solid run was enough to capture first overall among the family teams. While it might not have been the fastest team this day, the father and son sure seemed happy to have been a part of the event once again.
Also out racing again, The Stout Family from Greenbrier County
(affectionately known as simply "The Family") included
Charlotte and Perry Stout, Mickie Hughes,
Katie Hughes (10), Joey Stout (9), and Nick Stout
(8). This family crowd (well, at least five of them) completed all
three legs of the race together. While it does take them longer than
most to complete the race, they were thrilled this year to have taken
an hour off last year's time.
Do you have to be a family to race in this event? Well, of course not! How about Team Diggler? These three guys you'd certainly want to have on your side in a bar fight, but how would they fare as a triathlon team?
To start out, they earned the unofficial "Hangover Award" for thier
less than conventional night-before-the-race preparation which
included a lot of liquid refreshment. While the team seems quite at
home in the local tavern, kayaking turned out to be quite a different
art. With no real kayak experience, the difficulty of directing a
kayak in a strait line quickly became apparent.
Whether your looking for a nice day out with the family, some serious triathlon racing, or just some fun with friends, don't miss the 2002 edition of the Greenbrier River Race. With the history it has built over the last 15 years, there's no doubt the event will continue to enjoy wonderful success.