Sunday, July 10, 2011 -- Richwood, WV
Scenic Mountain Triathlon
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.
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.
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).
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).
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.