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The racers hit the water to start the Scenic Mountain Triathlon
Sunday, July 19, 1998 -- Richwood
Scenic Mountain Triathlon

[Individual Results]
[Results by Name]
[Results by Class]
[More Pictures]

The 13th annual scenic mountain triathlon was once again a huge success! Starting the night before with a great pre-race pasta meal and ending up with a huge post-race cookout, the race participants really enjoyed themselves at this event. Overall winner Sean Gettman (1:35:04), from Alexandria, VA, was quite impressed with this year's race and spoke very highly of the local support, the incredible meals, and the overall grassroots feeling of the race. "This is one of the best races for the racers that I have ever been in," Sean said. Following Gettman was Jim McGehee (1:36:22) for second and Blair Saunders (1:42:12) for third. Coming off an impressive 1st place, Cat 4 WV Road Biking Championship on Saturday, Phil Lovalenti (1:44:09) came in 6th overall and 5th in the Mens.

40-year-old Don Jeffrey, 4th overall, is first out of the water

In the women's category Benita Gras-Thompson, in her 2nd triathlon ever, won with a time of 1:42:55 and finished 5th overall. Benita couldn't say enough good things about this race! Pulling this race out of a certain body part, Gras-Thompson was really surprised by her determination and effort in the events. She barely managed to hang with Debbie Hornsby (2nd) and Tammi Jeffrey (3rd) of WV, during the bike. They would continually take off in the flat sections, while Benita would try to reel them in on the big hills. It is hard to believe that she has only been biking for 4 months! She said she really hopes to improve her technique and stamina in the future, but truthfully, she looked quite powerful out there on Sunday no matter what kind of training she's done. At the bike/run transition Gras-Thompson came in just yards behind D. Hornsby but passed her in the first 100m of the run and never looked back. We will certainly be seeing more of her and other racers as everyone loved this race course.

Benita Gras-Thompson used her strong running to take first female honors

Weather couldn't have been any better with a beautiful sunny morning and temperatures in the upper 70's most of the day. The race started off at Summit Lake with a 1/2 mile swim. Debbie Hornsby, a former US National Champion and 14th place Ironman finisher, exited the water 2nd overall. The bike section followed and was considered by most to be the hardest of the three with its 17.1 miles being most all uphill. A final 2 mile, 9% grade climb left many feeling drained for the run. The 6.2 mile run was also quite grueling with the last 3 miles being mostly uphill to the finish line. In the team events, Woods, Water and Wheels captured the overall team win with a time of 1:39.15.

The smiles on team Truant confirm what a great race it was
The mixed category was won by Team WVOutside (Brad's Team), while the female category was won by the Truant team. This year's youngest participant was Brent Roberts, age 12, who was the runner for Team Eclipse, and also loved this year's race.

Not only were there generous prizes for the winners, but there were also prizes for those who were out there to just complete the course. Veronica James, in her first race ever, finished last in the swim, last in the bike, but still managed a strong run and passed another competitor to finish in 3:04:44. To be quite honest, there were no losers in Richwood on this beautiful day. All of this year's participants and crowd really enjoyed the race and look to next year's race to be even bigger and better!

To the victors, Sean Gettman and Benita Gras-Thompson, go the spoils
But all the racers, like Veronica James, were champions for a day

After taking Cat 4 WV Road Bike Champion honors the previous day, Phil Lovalenti, 6th overall, was impressive
A fun event, but the race was filled with plenty of challenges