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Saturday, July 1, 2006 -- Parkersburg - North Bend State Park, WV
9th Adventure Pursuit Triathlon - WVMBA Sanctioned (iPO Event Id#: 7352)

[Details] [Coverage]
[Overall Results]
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]

Past Coverage: [1998] [1999] [2000] [2002] [2003] [2004] [2005]

Story by Kim Broughton with photos by Roberts Family Photography

Roberts Family Photography
Race ready with a smile
"And I did it in a skirt." --- That is what Keatan, my 6 year-old step-daughter said to Steve, North Bend's park superintendent the day after the triathlon. I was giving kayaking lessons to some of the planning committee on Sunday. Steve asked Keatan if she had done the race. She replied, "Yes, and I did it in a skirt."

Indeed she did.

Skirts, shorts, helmets, PFD's, canoes, kayaks, mountain bikes, cross bikes, whatever folks wore and whatever equipment they used anyone who finished the race this year is HARD CORE! Anyone who finished the Adventure Pursuit Triathlon this year can justifiable walk around with their head held high and tell folks they are hard core!

Roberts Family Photography
The trails of North Bend
The 9th Annual Adventure Pursuit Triathlon was held at a new home, North Bend State Park in Cairo, West Virginia. It was obvious from the first time the planning committee started riding the trails that this race was going to be totally different than any other we had held. The terrain was rugged. The lake had trees standing in it that had to be navigated through. The running and bike trails were off camber, and full of roots, rocks, and wet from natural springs and the climbs, all the steep climbs. Every time the planning committee went out for another ride to scope out a course they would come back whipped. Courses were designed and a few athletes from the year before were asked to ride the course. Changes were made and the course was set.

Every single athlete who crossed that finish line earned it. Folks would stop at the finish line just shaking their head, glad to be finished and proud. The "RUN BIKE KAYAK VOMIT" theme for the year was taken to heart by some.

Twelve brave souls signed up for the St. Joseph's Hospital Extreme Torture Challenge. Thirty percent of them didn't finish. St. Joseph's Hospital has been a sponsor of our event from the first year and they continue to reward health and fitness by supporting our event for the 9th year. The winning time for the day belonged to Luke Reynolds. He completed the race in 5:55:19. Luke was the 3^rd place winner last year and to come back and win on a course so much harder than last years is beyond impressive. Luke brought a group of volunteers for us this year. If it hadn't been for his volunteers we would not have been able to have the race. Luke's family and friends deserve a great big thank you.

Roberts Family Photography
Smile for the camera
Jeff Knechtel took an impressive 2nd place with a time of 6:21:25. Aaron Rourke finished 3rd with a time of 6:42:26. In the Male 45+ category, Bert Davis won again with a time of 6:27:49. Three athletes in this age category started the race and Bert was the only one to finish. It has been that way for years actually and Bert continues to hold on to his title. It may also be worth mentioning that for the past 2 years Bert has had to get permission from his doctor to do this race because it has occurred so close to a medical rehab issue or even surgery. Bert is one hard core individual although his wife and I both agree he is crazy!

Sarah Fletcher held on to the first place position this year with a time of 6:27:24. Compare that to last year's time of 5:13:21 and you may get an idea of how much tougher the course was this year. Sara Dallman took second this year with a time of 6:52.42. Lisa Lucci returned this year to take 3^rd place with a time of 7:00:51. Stephanie Ross took 4th in the Extreme female class with a finish time of 7:42:02. We cut off the race at 8 hours meaning if you are not done by then it is considered a DNF (did not finish). When I stopped by Stephanie's group's site and asked if we should send out a scout for her, one of her fellow racers said, "No, she won't quit. She will be here." It wasn't 10 minutes later she rolled across the finish line. Way to go Stephanie. I am always thrilled to see such hard core women sign up for the race.

For years, we didn't have female entries in this category. Hats off to every one of you who attempted this course! And Hats off to Joe Smindak and company. This group alone accounted for half of the Extreme entries. These guys were a joy to be around and impressive athletes. They brought a wonderful presence to the event and we hope to see them back next year.

About 2 hours after the start of the extreme race our most popular race, the McCarter Chiropractic Mud, Sweat and Chaffed Buns and the Ritchie County Adventure Outfitters You're Darn Right I did a triathlon Triathlon kicked off.

Roberts Family Photography
Scenic and challenging
McCarter Chiropractic sponsored the Chaffed Buns race this year and fed all the athletes and volunteers. We cannot thank Dr. McCarter enough for her support and continued free massages during the event. She continues to be a bigger part of the event every year. We thoroughly enjoy her support and the support of those she brings. Folks who have done the Chaffed Buns race in the past stopped me after the event and told me, "You weren't kidding when you said it was much harder." We sent letters to our past athletes "warning them" of the difference in difficulty. Not only was the terrain tougher but we added 2.5 miles to the bike leg which made it a totally different race. We have been told in the past there was too big of a difference between this race and the extreme race. We closed the gap on that a bit this year.

The Chaffed Buns athletes got a taste of what the extreme folks go through. Cortney Bloomer returned this year and maintained her title as the female winner in the 18-34 year old category with a time of 2:28:38. Cortney also races in WVMBA's race series and her mountain biking skills were certainly a plus to her winning finish. We appreciate Cortney coming back this year. Holly Damron took second this year in the 18-34 year old category with a time of 2:53:55. Way to go Holly.

Amanda Smith took 3rd less than a minute behind Holly. Amanda has been training for this race for a long time. Amanda and her husband, Pastor Jamie Smith, brought their church youth group to the event to volunteer for us. Not only were they outstanding youth but they camped with us Friday night and enjoyed games in the campground. If you have never camped with us during the event, it is worth the effort, especially on Saturday night. The campground turns into a wonderful community of relaxed and exhausted folks enjoying the evening and each other's company. The children play themselves to exhaustion. It is a wonderful atmosphere and one we hope continues to grow every year.

Roberts Family Photography
The kids enjoyed the day
The first place female finisher in the Chaffed Buns race for age 35+ was Marilyn Hall with a winning time of 2:11:53. Cynthia Kelly took second place seconds behind Marilyn with a time of 2:11:58. Amy Barrett took 3rd place with a time of 2:18:17. Way to go ladies! You are hard core!

In the male Chaffed Buns finishes Brendan O'Keefe returned this year and smoked the competition with a winning time of 1:45:35. Daniel Ingold took second with a time of 2:19:23. Ryan Taylor took the 3^rd place medal with a time of 2:24:03. Brendan pre-rode the course multiple times and it showed. He told me he had figured out a strategy of when to run with his bike and when to ride it. Looks like it paid off! Way to go Brendan! I know 99% of the course can be ridden on a mountain bike. I have seen it done but there is no doubt a strategy of knowing when it was faster to pick up your bike and run was advantageous. I remember reading an article by Marla Streb talking about that very issue, planning a strategy that involves knowing when to get off your bike and when to ride.

The Chaffed Buns winning time for the Male 35 - 44 class was 1:54:39 and belonged to winner Dave Battista. He also smoked his field. The second place winner in this class was David Hall with a time of 2:33:12. David and his son have done our race for 3 years and are regulars at the campground with us. He told me it is their annual father-son event and they count down the days to it every year. We love seeing them back every year and enjoy their company at our tent city. Todd Hamrick took 3^rd palce with a time of 2:54:36. Way to go Todd! The winner in the 45+ class was Tony Morris with a time of 2:05:26. Tony was encouraged to attend by Mark Flood, a repeat racer in the event. It was great to see Mark and his daughter, Amanda at the race again his year. Amanda was Mark's equipment manager this year. She raced in the children's event last year and we hope to see her back on the race course next year. Second place in the 45+ class belongs to Paul Brager with a time of 2:06:58. So close to first place! Way to go Paul. Third place went to E (Kelly) Merritt with a time of 2:16:34. Woo hoo Kelly!

Roberts Family Photography
Rock skipping WV style
We had 4 adventure teams this year (everyone on the team does every leg) and one relay team in the Chaffed Buns race. The relay team the Three Amigos finished the course in 2:03:50. The winning adventure team was Team Irwinners, which consisted of Stacie and Beckie Irwin. Great team name guys and way to go.

For those of you who do not know, this triathlon is the only fundraiser Adventure Pursuit holds during the year. Adventure Pursuit is an outdoor recreation group that specializes in adventure for the mentally and physically challenged. We own a 2-acre park on the Little Kanawha River that is handicapped-accessible and host over 14 special needs summer camps during the summer. We couldn't pay our bills if it wasn't for this event and we very much appreciate everyone's support and continued attendance of the race.

The Ritchie County Adventure Outfitter's You're Darn Right I did a triathlon Triathlon is the introductory triathlon of the day. It is developed for folks who have never done a triathlon and want to give it a try. Most of the folks who do this race end up bumping up to the Chaffed Buns race. It is a great way to get your feet wet. Arienne Miller actually bumped up to this race from the Children's race she has done in the past. Arienne Miller, 12 took first place in the 12 -17 year old class with a time of 1:08:15. She did this race with her dad, Mark who took 4th place in the Male 15-45 class with a time of 1:08:16. Arienne and her family have been attending our race for years.

Roberts Family Photography
Creek crossing ahead
Usually, Nancy, the mother of the group, participates in the event but is healing from knee surgery and volunteered this year instead. Nancy is also the one responsible for the finish line experience and the beautiful wooden plaques donated by Woodcraft this year. Woodcraft has supplied the finish line prizes for the past 3 years and we thank them very much for their continued support. Arienne and Nancy are another group that share the campground with us and also told us they look forward to this event every year as a mother-daughter special time. Arienne learned African Dance around the campfire last year when we had the Groove Project drummers there on Saturday night. She told her mom that one day she was going to do the Extreme race. We have no doubt!

Tristan Broughton took first place in the Male 10-17 class with a time of 1:15:54. Tristan decided the night before to do the beginner race instead of the children's and his decision paid off with a first place trophy. Way to go Tristan! In the Female 30-50 class Julie Balsley won with a time of 1:07:47. Susan Knechtel took second place with a finish of 1:08:55. Susan, Jeff and Katy Knechtel each did a different race at the triathlon this year. We love it when families play together with us.

Katy had the coolest children's whitewater play boat I have ever seen and it was obvious that in her 8 years of life she has spent some time in that boat. What a hard core and sweet little girl! Darlene Snider won 3^rd place in the Darn Right race with a time of 1:18:14. Amanda Williams finished 4^th with a time of 1:18:59. Amanda bought a mountain bike just a few months before the event and she and I went out and rode the course. She is a fast learner and worked hard to improve her mountain biking skills for the race. With her enthusiasm and drive there is no doubt in my mind that she will be back in the Chaffed Buns race next year. She emailed to tell me she has taken several trips over her handle bars while training. She has joined a club many of us have been initiated into and it is only a matter of time before she is tearing up those trails. Good job Amanda! We had one male class this year ages 15 -45.

Roberts Family Photography
Loving the bike section
The winner of this race was Bradley Riser with a time of 1:03:56. Way to go Bradley. Second place went to Bradlely Massey with a time of 1:05:34 and third was earned by Scott Hamrick with a time of 1:08. Way to go gentleman! There were 2 teams in the Ritchie County race, one relay and one adventure team. The Adventure Team, Team PG (Pastor and Gricar) had a wreck (over the handle bars, welcome to the club) early on the bike leg. Yet even in the face of that challenge they continued on and crossed the finish line with times of 1:21:18 and 1:21:14. The relay team was comprised of the sponsor for this race, Bryan Backus - owner of Ritchie County Adventure Outfitters, his wife, Erica and her father Thomas McCullough. They finished with a time of 1:16:30. Bryan purchased the wonderful trophies for the racers. What a wonderful prize that was to take home. Thanks Bryan for your support!

The last race of the day and my personal favorite kicked off after 2 PM, the Lowell Warden Jr. Memorial Children's Triathlon. What a great group of children. We had our youngest ever racer in this event, Suzanna Atkins, age 3 and 1/2. She paddled a canoe with her mother on the first leg and was accompanied by her dad on the run. Catch the smile on her face and his in the pictures for the event. She was dedicated and we expect to see her in the Extreme one day. W

Roberts Family Photography
Thanks to everyone...
We had a great group of children for this event and very understanding parents. Because there was no power at our finish line we had to use a generator to power our time clock and computer. The generator died during the children's race thus we have no finish times for them. In our eyes every child that does this event is a winner and we showed this by awarding every child a 1^st place trophy. Our hats go off to the parents who promote physical activity with their children. We have been working on community fitness for years in the Parkersburg area and there is absolutely no substitution for parents who take the time to teach their children the value of health and fitness.

I cannot tell you what an amazing gift it is you have given your children and in some cases the child of a friend (that is you Lorraine!) by getting them physically active. I wish every child we have come into contact with had such an influence in their lives. So hats off to the parents and way to go to the children who did the race. Those awesome folks include: Jacob Hesson, Joel Lynch, Harlan Bower, Katy Knechtel, Keatan Broughton, Nathan Pritchard, Taylor Leham, Suzanna Atkins, Steven Davis, and Jimmy Hall.


Thanks to everyone who supported us this year and continue to do so.
We love our new venue and have already reserved it for July 7, 2007.

We hope to see an increase in the campers who stay with us as it is really a wonderful group of folks to hang out with and enjoy their company. North Bend's swimming pool was available free to all who camped and many of us enjoyed this wonderful resource. We have already received some wonderful ideas for next year's race we plan to implement. We welcome all comments and have implemented racers suggestions every year.

We are always in need of volunteers and appreciate any suggestions or help folks may have. This year we had the pleasure of being supported by many I have already mentioned and some I am going to mention now. We want to thank the Shilo Trail Riders for their support on horseback and even more for the work they have done developing trails and raising thousands of dollars towards trail development.

In the months I have been working with them and the park to plan this course I have been astounded at the amount of work this group has accomplished. I watch them build a culvert, which the Extreme athletes rode over, in less than 2 weeks. It involved hauling over 200 bags of Quick Crete into the woods and the president of the group told me the average age of their volunteer is in the 60's. Wow!

I rode a horse with these folks to show them their volunteer positions and after that 4 hour ride on trails I never imagined a horse could navigate I deemed them all insane and swore to never ride anything that has its own brain. I want to thank them for their support of our athletes on the trails they developed and even more I want to thank them for how enthusiastically they received the news that we wanted to be there. They are a hard working group of individuals who have done amazing things and have even more amazing plans for future trail. We will be working with them to help develop new trail for next year as we will be moving the start/finish line to a more accessible area that everyone can get to.

I also want to thank the staff at North Bend State Park, especially the Superintendent Steve Jones and Assistant Superintendent Kathy Metz. We have had this race at 3 different parks and never have we seen such support from a park. They are 100% behind us and every single person on their staff showed the same support. Their attitude and the park itself has been an amazing change to the triathlon and their support has been second to none.

We want to thank Red Bull for coming back year after year. It was in the 90's on the day of the race and I am sure Red Bull helped fuel many! Thanks to General Ambulance for their continued support. Many thanks to REACT, the emergency response group in Ritchie County for their boat support and to Harrisville Volunteer Fire Department for boat support as well.

Many many thanks to Pressley Ridge for their continued support of our water stops and this year punch stations. They supply everything for the water stops and bring some wonderful children to help us out. We are happy we were able to continue our relationship with this wonderful group.

GE Silicones bought the t-shirts for everyone this year and we very much appreciate their addition to our family of sponsors. We give our heartfelt thanks to sponsors who have become more family than anything. Those include our long term supporters Vienna Bike Shop, Stonewall Marketing, and Roberts Family Photography. We want to give extra thanks to Broughton's Foods for their donation of cold water. We gave out a lot of water to many thankful athletes.

Just a final word - We have been doing this race for 9 years and there is no doubt that the number of hours it takes to hold this event in no way justifies the amount of money we raise doing it. We could raise the $1500 - $4000 we have made in the past with a lot less effort with another event but we continue to hold this event. It is because of the family that has formed around this event after 9 years and it is because of the community that exists in the campground every year. It is because of the father and son and mother and daughter who has made this THEIR annual special time. Most of us who plan this event compete in athletic competitions. We enjoy you all and enjoy seeing you every year and we enjoy the new faces. We hope to see you in the campground. We hope to see you on the kayak trip Sunday afternoon or the bike trip on Sunday morning (okay, we are taking down course markings but it is still a way to enjoy the beauty of the park). Adventure Pursuit and North Bend have already starting talking about next year.

We sincerely hope to see you there in whatever capacity you want to join us and enthusiastically welcome and appreciate your comments, ideas and suggestions. Contact Adventure Pursuit at (304) 485-0911 or e-mail adventurepursuit@hotmail.com.