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Thursday, June 30, 2005 - Sunday, July 3, 2005 -- Parkersburg, WV
8th Adventure Pursuit Triathlon (iPO Event Id#: 7037)

To purchase race photos from this event contact Andi at:
andi@robertsfamilyphoto.com or www.robertsfamilyphoto.com

Past Coverage: [1998] [1999] [2000] [2002] [2003] [2004]

[Details] [Coverage]
[Overall Results] [Results by Class]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6] [Set 7] [Set 8] [Set 9]
[Set 10] [Set 11] [Set 12] [Set 13]

100 People and a Dog
Story by Kim Broughton, Event Director

Photo by Andi Roberts
The kids race bigwheels
"That's a lot of work for 100 people." I spend a lot of time corresponding and talking to folks planning on coming to the triathlon in the weeks previous to the event. One of those folks asked how many people usually raced. When I said about 100 total, he said, "That's a lot of work for 100 people." I'm not sure why that stuck in my head. Usually when something does that I have to figure out why.

After we packed up on Sunday and I was driving home the answer was obvious. It is a lot of work for what seems a small field of athletes. I look at other triathlons and they have many more entries. What is different? We boat, we don't swim. We run a cross-country course and we ride mountain bike trails, not the road. I guess you could call us a rugged triathlon.

100 people racing and their friends, families, and dogs coming to support and cheer them on. 100 racers and 100 different stories as to why folks are there; I want to share some of them with you.

I was at my camper Friday afternoon when a mother and her 14 year old son approached me to sign up for the Mountain State Blue Cross Blue Shield I Did It! Triathlon. He had been there last year and was coming back to see how he could do. He wanted to ride the bike course and we set up a time for him to do that with my husband later that evening.

Photo by Andi Roberts
Double the power here...
His mother explained he had just had chemotherapy the day before and wanted to come out and race on Saturday. He asked if we needed any help setting up so we put him to work. What a great smile he has and he used it often. What an athlete he is. What a great attitude he has. Not only is he facing an amazing challenge in his 14 years of life, he is seeking positive challenges with joy and excitement. I have omitted names for his privacy. If he is reading this I just wanted to let you know you are amazing!

Mountain State Blue Cross Blue Shield sponsored the I Did it! Triathlon this year. They are a long time sponsor of the triathlon and are very dedicated to supporting wellness in our community. While this race always has a small field, many of the past athletes in this event have bumped up to the next level triathlon. It is the perfect distance for athletes who have never done a triathlon or for children who have outgrown the children's race. Matter of fact, some of the children took our triathlon training camp held earlier in the week to prepare for the race. Andrew Cooper was a camp attendee and the results told it all. Andrew came in first in the Male 11-14 age class. Andrew even took time, after resting and eating, to volunteer for us during the day. What great athletes we have in this race!

Chris Dennison, the overall winner for the race swears it was tough. It must have been. He finished it in 44 minutes, a new race record! Stephanie Williams won the female division with a ten minute lead over the next finisher! Stephanie is 17! We look forward to seeing her compete in the Extreme Torture Challenge some day at this rate! Way to go Stephanie! Marcia Papale returned from Pittsburgh. We have a great group that comes from Pittsburgh every year and we really enjoy them! Marcia finished third in the woman's division. Woo Hoo Marcia! Thanks for coming back!

Photo by Andi Roberts
Enjoying the bike section
We had 12 entries in the Mountain State Blue Cross Blue Shield I Did It! Triathlon. Twelve fabulous folks, twelve different reasons for being here. Thanks for coming to our race, each and every one of you.

The Lowell Warden Jr. Memorial Children's Triathlon is obviously an emotional event for us based on the name. Lowell was an Adventure Pursuit board member and member of the triathlon committee. This race was his idea and I must admit, it is my favorite race to watch. I love these athletes! Take Hayley Skinder for example. She arrived early Friday morning and was a great helper for me. She helped lay out the children's race course. I asked is she was racing. She told me no. A little later she changed her mind and she finished the race with a smile on her face.

Hayley has a wonderful attitude and wasn't afraid to try things out. We found out she does a pretty impressive African Dance around the camp fire as did Arienne Miller, another competitor and winner of the Female 11 age class. The overall winner for the day was JD Barnette in the pink jersey! JD took kayaking lessons from us last year. When I told him the fastest boat I had for his age was pink he said, bring it on! That is exactly what he did last year by winning the event. He came back this year and dominated again and not only in his pink boat. He went out special and bought a pink jersey to match. You gotta love that!

Photo by Andi Roberts
Paddling the flatwater
The Simonton Windows Mud, Sweat and Chaffed Buns triathlon was again the largest race of the day. Ray Legge was the overall winner for the event. He finished almost 5 minutes before the next finisher came in. The Legge's enjoyed a good day at the races with Winnie and Army Legge taking 2nd and 3rd overall in the children's triathlon. Jim Kirchner raced in this event as the runner for a team and then continued the race as an individual. We allow almost any kind of entry in our races.

What I find most interesting about this is that Jim came in before his team. He beat himself. I really enjoyed corresponding with Jim as he and his team were preparing for the triathlon. They had all just turned 50 and this triathlon is what they did to celebrate.

One team member even flew in from Texas to do the race. What dedication to a friendship! Team BTK, thanks for including us in your celebration of your 50 years! While Team BTK competed in the event as a relay team, the team Concrete Angels with Renee Carter and Lacey Hanson competed as an adventure team and won the overall team class for the event. I can't wrap up the discussion of the male entries in this race without a big thank you to Bill Burns, a competitor in this event. Bill arrived early Friday morning and instantly offered to help us set up. Within an hour he was swinging a sledge hammer for us. Bill always had a smile on his face and was such a joy to have camp at the event as was everyone in his camp. I told him next year I expected them a day earlier so I could work them harder. Bill and company, what great people!

Photo by Andi Roberts
Teamwork is important
Nancy Miller showed incredible staying power in her race. Nancy decided to run a few extra miles in the running leg of the race. She was out for a long time and a concerned friend even stopped and shared her concerns with me. Nancy was beat after the kayaking leg but was determined to finish the race. That she did! She asked a friend to bike with her and they rode the last leg together. Nancy is the same Nancy that puts together our finish line experience every year. This year, after you punched your time card and turned it in after finishing the race, you got to pull the chain on a steam whistle and then you were given your own whistle to keep. She is awesome! Cortney Bloomer took first in this race in the woman's division finishing 25 minutes before the next female competitor. Wow! You go girl!

The St. Joseph's Hospital Extreme Torture Challenge from Hell had the largest entries ever for this race and one of the reasons for this was the number of female entries we had. We have never had more than 2 females compete in this race at any time. This year we had 6 individual females. I was stunned and excited to have such a jump in entries and to have some competition in this part of the race.

Sarah Fletcher took home the $250 first place prize. She commented before racing that she had just had a baby 5 months previous and wasn't sure how she was going to do. Sarah won this race a few years ago. We were glad to see her back. Lisa Lucci finished second and enjoyed a cash payout as did Ruth Cunningham, who finished 3rd to enjoy the 3rd place cash payout. Ruth has always raced the middle distance triathlon but bumped up this year. I call her my Pittsburgh connection. She does so much to promote attendance to our race that we gave her a free entry for bringing 6 other entries with her.

Photo by Andi Roberts
Victory is in sight
It should also be mentioned that Ruth was the winner of the West Virginia Mountain Bike Association spring race series. I told her I wasn't sure we should let foreigners come to West Virginia and take the championship title. She certainly earned it. You are hard core Ruth! Thanks for all that you do for us! Rose Petrick, winner of this event for the past few years, was back to clock a 4th place finish. I have always enjoyed Rose's attendance to the event. She has always been an inspiration to me.

In the men's field, Randy Gibbs took first place with a time of 4:24:45. Randy has been racing on a team for the past 2 years and raced as an individual this year. He took home the $250 first place prize. Randy is an impressive athlete as are all the competitors in this race. For example, Bert Davis came back to the event this year to compete. He called me a few days before the event and told me he had an "emergency meeting" set up with his physical therapist on Friday to see if he had recovered from some injuries enough to compete. I completely understood his mindset as I broke my pelvis in biking accident at the beginning of June and have not been the most patient of patients. Bert finished the race in 6 hours and 23 minutes. You go Bert and thanks so much for coming back this year and being so dedicated to racing!

Rob Bowser was back again this year to see if he could move up from his second place finish last year. Rob was at the event a few days before it started and we enjoyed several conversations together, especially the one where he rode into camp after a crash and said, "Can you see any blood?"

Justin Pokrivka ran as a runner for the team Goat Log Special and then continued on to compete in the race as an individual. Jason took second place in the individual category while his team won the team class with a finish time of less than a second from the second place team. Benji, the biker for the second place team had his pedal come off and Justin's teamed loaned him a pedal wrench. What a great thing to do! What great athletes we have in our event. Justin has been coming to the event for years and we really appreciate his continued participation, kindness and support.

Luke Renyolds won third place and the cash that went with that place. Luke was our first advanced entry this year. He drove down to our clubhouse months in advance and picked out the boat he wanted to race in. Our boats are in high demand for the race Luke took no chances. We enjoyed his visit to our clubhouse and turned his children lose in our indoor climbing gym for a little while. He had the whole family and a few extras and was heading out to Mountwood for a day of biking. They camped at the event in a camper and brought a beautiful St. Bernard with them. I noticed he was no where to be found while they were sleeping and as I assumed, the dog slept in the trailer with them. Wow!

Photo by Andi Roberts
Cool shades to end the day
David Huffman (whom I call Girlie Man) came back to compete in the torture challenge. David called to reserve a boat and I told him I had one left but in would require some duct tape if he intended to use it. It was a fast boat. He arrived, duct tape in hand and paddled the boat. I gave David the name girlie man when we were racing in the triathlon years ago and I passed him in a kayak. I told him he paddled like a girl, which was a compliment. He has been girlie man to me ever since.

I must say a big thank you to Charlie Shaffer for coming back to the race. While Charile had a blow out, and I mean, rim, tire and tube, he arrived at the finish line carrying his bike with a smile on his face and accepted his DNF status with laughter and a smile. Charlie is an amazing athlete. I remember someone commenting last year how he went out to run the trails the day after the race just for fun and how amazed they were. I was amazed too. Charlie and I have kept in touch after last year's event. He always brings a smile to my face. This year, I was honored to meet his family. His son, Jesse, won the Dance Dance Revolution competition, hosted by Dr. Carson. Way to go Jesse!

One final note about our adventure team entry in the extreme race, which was composed of Betsy Schauer, Gunnar Shogren, and their dog. Betsy emailed and told me they had bought a double kayak after last year's event and wanted to know if they could race it. I said sure, bring your boat and come on down. We will create a class for you. I had several folks comment and smile about their team, one girl, one boy and a dog. I couldn't tell if the dog enjoyed kayaking or running more.

In addition to the triathlons for the day, numerous other events and competitions were held. The winner was selected for the sit-up competition and a 9 year old girl won a whitewater rafting trip for herself and 7 other folks. Free lessons were given throughout the day to include yoga, a slack line lesson and martial arts, all free. Thanks so much to the folks who volunteered their time to share their skills.

The water slide provided courtesy of Dunbar and Fowler, Attorney's at Law, was a huge hit while children and adults used it to stay cool. The obstacle course was built by Pressley Ridge and their students had a great time on the course Friday afternoon. There are so many people to thank and so much more to mention but it is time to wrap this up. I would like to close with this message.

As I mentioned, I broke my pelvis a month before the event. There is no doubt it impacted the quality of our event this year and as hard as our committee worked there are things we could have done better. As an organizer of the event I want to say thank you to each and every one of you who took the time to share their constructive criticism with me and I mean that in all sincerity. There was not one person who shared their thoughts with me who did not also offer their assistance next year to make the event better. The folks who spoke to me delivered their thoughts and comments with so much kindness and support that it touched me deeply and I can't even put into words my appreciation.

When I was leaving Mountwood Park and thinking of all the great moments with all the special folks I got to spend time with there was no question in my mind why we continue to do this for "only 100 people" and a dog.