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Sunday, July 10, 2011 -- Richwood, WV
Scenic Mountain Triathlon (iPO Event Id#: 13531)

2011: [Details] [Coverage] [Photos] [Overall Results] [Results by Class]

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In Memory of Vikki Mayse

Story and photos by Tiffany Summerlin.

The 26th annual start of the duel on the Richwood mountaintop was uncharacteristically hot. The high for the day of 87 degrees was about ten degrees higher than the average. Swimmers jockeyed for a place to literally cool their heels during the prerace meeting.

Race director Jeromy Rose took some time to share about the recent passing of the well missed, Vikki Mayse.

Summit Lake Photo by Tiffany Summerlin
Here is a bit of what he said, "For those of you that know Vikki Mayse, the executive secretary at the Chamber of Commerce and the hardest worker for the triathlon, she passed away a couple of weeks ago. The triathlon will not be the same without her. She was the person behind the scenes that did 90% of the work for 0% of the glory and made the event not only a reality but the great success it is year after year. So many of us in Richwood and those associated with the triathlon are going to miss her smiling face, sense of humor, and hard work. She was 61 years old and had come to Richwood a little over 10 years ago with her husband, Jimmy. He wanted to retire in his hometown of Richwood but passed away a few months after returning. Vikki decided to stay even though she was not from Richwood and had no other connections to our town other than her husband. She became a great friend of the community and a true Richwooder. It is obvious that she will be missed by the Richwood Community and the Scenic Mountain Triathlon.

Photo by Tiffany Summerlin
Following the heartfelt remarks about Vikki, Jeromy introduced runner, Jamie Summerlin. Jamie was given an opportunity to inform the crowd about a special run he will be doing next year. Being a Marine Corps veteran, he has decided to do a fundraiser for the Wounded Warrior Project. This is not just any fundraiser, but something huge. He will run from the southern Oregon coast, where his wife is from and finish in Baltimore, Maryland. And to top it all off, he'll do it in 100 days for an average of 30-40 miles per day. Find out more at: and go get 'em Jamie!

With all of the prerace housekeeping duties in order, the anxious throng of hotfooted swimmers made their way into the cool water of beautiful Summit Lake. Once everyone was wet to their neck and ready to go, the countdown began. On the sound of "One!" the frothy commotion made its way toward the quarter mile turnaround point. Arms and legs crashed through the water as waves moved to the shore.

Scenic Triathlon Photo by Tiffany Summerlin
The first solo male competitor to get his legs under him was Travis Eads with a time of ten minutes and twenty seconds. Travis was followed closely by other sub-eleven finishers Andrew Cochran, Gerald Audet, Robert Smith, Mark Robbins, and Sidney Gillispie. Stephanie Vlahos churned through the water with a time of ten minutes and thirty-two seconds, coming out first for the ladies.

A steep negative grade waited after the transition to the bike leg of the race. Two miles of downhill riddled with flagged potholes made sure all the racers stayed alert. Once racers made a left onto Scenic Mountain Highway, fifteen miles of a light ascent were topped off by a brutal climb up Kennison Mountain. Can you say burn?

The fastest ride to the Cranberry Mountain Nature Center from Summit Lake (17.1 miles) was Brett Childress with a solo bike time of 46:55. Following closely in bike finish time were Andrew Cochran (48:23), Kyle McCammon (50:54), Robert Smith (52:35) and Mark Robbins (53:32).

Scenic Triathlon Photo by Tiffany Summerlin
The women were well represented by the fastest time of 1:02:21 by Amy Robbins. Closely ticking behind her were Sarah Fletcher (1:02:51), Ginny Hotze (1:06:19), Amy Dunkin (1:07:11) and Wendy Shutty (1:07:19)

And the chase is on! 6.2 miles remain to prove the victor of the 26th Scenic Mountain Triathlon. 3.1 miles down, 3.1miles back up. And up.

The overall lead changed hands in the middle of the run to Robert Smith of Huntington, WV with a run time of 47:25, giving him not only the fastest run of the day but overall first place finish of 1:40:00.

Andrew Cochran of Morgantown, WV found he dropped from his all day upfront position with a run time of 56:01 and overall second place finish of 1:44:24. Hot on his heels was Kyle McCammon of Bridgeport, WV with a run time of 56:01 and overall third place finish of 1:45:55.

The women were well represented by the overall first place veteran Amy Robbins of Charlottesville, VA. She completed the run in a respectable time of 57:27 for an overall finish time of 1:59:48. Rounding out the top three for the women were Sarah Fletcher of Charleston, WV (2:08:46) and Ginny Holtz of Asheville, NC (2:12:29).

Scenic Triathlon Photo by Tiffany Summerlin
Sandy Yocum of Team Run for WWP
The overall first place team finish was team "C3" Caleb Davis, Keith Cook and Cam Davis of Beckley, WV. They finished in a time of 1:49:51.

Team "Run for WWP" was in the first place position for the coed teams. Jamie Summerlin, Aaron Yocum and Sandy Yocum of Morgantown, WV rushed the finish line with a time of 1:56:10.

"The Lifesavers" represented the first place women's relay spot. Way to go Cathy McCoy, Rachel Gayle and Brandi Johns!

A notable finisher was Heather Haught of Parkersburg, WV. Quoting an article in The Journal Heather remarks on her triathlon athlete status, "To see where I've come and to see what the human body is capable of (is the best part). Looking back to when I was 21 years old, I know that I was slowly dying. Now I'm 28 years old, I have three kids and I'm a size two. If you would have even told me two years ago that I'd be racing and actually placing in events, I would have laughed in your face. I think that's what attracted me to triathlons: doing something I never thought possible." Heather has lost a mind-blowing 135 pounds. This is good stuff right here!

And speaking of good stuff, racers and spectators refueled on a delicious spread of hotdogs, chicken sandwiches, salads and other goodies.

A special thanks goes out to the Richwood Area Chamber of Commerce and generous sponsor Alpha Natural Resources and affiliate Brooks Run Mining Company.