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Saturday, August 15, 2009 -- Daniels, WV / Glade Springs Resort
Glade Springs Charlie Williamson Memorial Triathlon (iPO Event Id#: 11907)

[Details] [Coverage] [Photos] [Overall Results] [Results by Class]

Remembering Williamson

Story and photos by Angela Ogle Lindley with additional photos by Garth Lindley

Glade Springs Tri. Photos by Angela Ogle Lindley
Charlie Williamson was passionate about fitness, and he encouraged others to join him in leading an active lifestyle. Even at the age of 70, he trained relentlessly and was a formidable competitor in foot races, triathlons and bike races along the East Coast. He was also always on hand to loan out bikes and provide bike repairs for children in his neighborhood.

In 2008, while training on his bicycle, Charlie was killed by a speeding motorist.

In his memory, Charlie's Fund was established through the Beckley Area Foundation to buy bikes for underprivileged children and provide bike safety education in area schools.

The Glade Springs Charlie Williamson Memorial triathlon is a chance for the community to express their thanks to this selfless role model and preserve his memory as an athlete.

The resort community of Glade Springs in Daniels, WV served as a beautiful backdrop for the 105 competitors who accepted the challenge. The event began with a 750-meter lake swim, which was laid out in a triangular course in Chatham Lake. This was followed by a 12-mile, up-and-down bike ride past beautiful homes and an out-and-back 3.1-mile run.

Glade Springs Tri. Photos by Angela Ogle Lindley
Alexander Payne was first out of the water, with an impressive swim time of 10 minutes 24 seconds, followed by Drew Cochran at 13 minutes 36 seconds and Charles Williamson (son of Charlie Williamson) at 13 minutes 43 seconds.

By the time the racers came out of the water, the weather had begun to heat up. It felt like summer had finally arrived, as racers ran 10 yards to the first transition point to begin the hilly bike course. David Williams triumphed on the bike by more than a minute with a time of 33 minutes 25 seconds, followed by Chris Thomas at 34 minutes 57 seconds and Charles Williamson at 37 minutes 37 seconds.

David Williams won the 3.1 mile run to seal his overall victory with an impressive time of 18 minutes 57 seconds. He was followed by Alexander Payne at 19 minutes 52 seconds, and Pedro Sanchez came in third with a run time of 20 minutes 30 seconds.

David Williams took first overall, with a time of 1:04:50. Alexander Payne was second, with a time of 1:10:25. Chris Thomas was close behind him, taking third place with a time of 1:10:57. Nicole Thomas was the first female to cross the finish line, at 1:23:48.

After the race, participants were treated to a buffet barbecue, a band and volleyball. Kids joined the fun, too, racing on foot and then on bicycles decorated with balloons and streamers.

Throughout the crowd, several participants and spectators wore nametags with blue ribbons and the words "Williamson Family." These indicated the loved ones of Charlie Williamson who had come to show their support for this event and all it represented.