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Friday, August 25, 2006 - Saturday, August 26, 2006 -- Morgantown, WV
Sprint, Splash 'n Spin Triathlon (iPO Event Id#: 7351)

[Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Age Group Results]
Buy Photos: [Kid Photos] [Adult Photos]

Event Coverage: [2004] [2004 Kids] [2005] [2005 Kids]

Story and photos by Julie Black

Photo by Julie Black
Hanna Lester swims the pool
Helping to raise money for the Habitat for Humanity of Monongalia County, create a fun community event that highlights Morgantown's superb recreational facilities, and encouraging people to exercise isn't easy. The crew of the Sprint, Splash 'n Spin Triathlon knows all about it, and they've been doing it for quite a few years now. Thick with sponsors and heavy with local participation, the event has matured into a full-blown mega-thon, offering events for kids and adults of all abilities and ages.

Bringing Out the Best in a Community
Since it's induction in 2004, the event has seen participant numbers increase enough to place a cap on the adults triathlon, and this year more than 80 children participated in the kid's triathlon on Friday evening. Children are urged to race, but the event is not timed. The kid's course is a wee one geared towards fun rather than competition.

Photo by Julie Black
Kids encouraged to participate
Swim two lengths in BOPARC's Marilla pool (66 yards), bike 1.5 miles on the rail-trail, and run one-half mile along White Road and you're done. All children who competed in the race, whether they completed it or not, received a medal, T-shirt, and hearty round of applause. Parents could be seen running along side their child encouraging them to continue on, or simply, run faster.

Both triathlons encourage families to prepare as a family. For instance, many of my neighbors happened to be in the triathlon, and so were their kids. They rode their bikes on the rail-trail, or around the neighborhood, kids were encouraged to take swim lessons, and two guys who live up the street from me even ran together at 6 a.m. many mornings.

Photo by Julie Black
Betsy Shogren, happy to compete
World Class Athletes live in Morgantown
All three years that the event has been held, one man has dominated the top finisher's spot. Dr. Vinnie Monseau, has a long list of activities to follow his name. A 2005 Ironman Championship competitor, Monseau is an active member of the Morgantown Multisport Club. He's won the Sprint, Splash 'n Spin Triathlon three years in a row, this year finishing with an overall time of 48:48.

Brandon Merritt has claimed second place the last two years, in 2006 he finished in 51:19. Merritt also took home second place in the Olympic distance at this year's Tri-State Triathlon. In third in 52:30 was Derek Clark who's also a member of the Morgantown Multisport Club like Monseau. Clark has claimed third in the Sprint, Splash 'n Spin for the past two years.

Photo by Julie Black
It helps to have support
Jack (or Jill for that matter) of all trades local Pro-Cyclist, Betsy Shogren, is quite an amazing athlete. Betsy and her husband, Gunnar travel almost every weekend of the year to compete in cycling events of all shapes and sizes. Betsy completed the triathlon as the first woman and 27th overall in a time of 59:49. The next day, she drove to Oak Hill, WV to place as the first Pro/Expert Woman at the ACE New River Mountain Bike Fest Race.

Hannah Vernon, second in 2005, placed second again this year with a time of 1:00:31. Kristin Garbinski took home third in 1:01:18.

"The Sprint, Splash 'n Spin is just a fantastic event," Chris Haddox said to the Dominion Post. "We couldn't do it without the community volunteers."

Thanks to the many sponsors and the Sprint, Splash 'n Spin committee members; Sandy Lawson, Chet Parsons, Ronna Monseau, Ben Warner, Colleen Harshbarger, Ralph Larue, Cathy Allen, Beth Halterman, Stephanie Bock, Melissa Cavanagh, Chris Haddox and BOPARC staff. See for more information about the race, sponsors, and past results.