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The paddlers make their way out on Summersville Lake
Friday, July 31, 1998 -- Summersville
Summersville Lake Festival Triathlon

[Boat/Bike Pictures] [Run/Finish Pictures] [Results]

Nothing like starting your weekend off with a little triathlon action on Friday morning. Such was the case for the folks that participated in the 2nd Annual Summersville Lake Festival Triathlon. The race consisted of three events starting with a flatwater kayak (the even provided boats for some of the amateur racers) for a 2.5 miles on the Summersville Lake. Next, the racers jumped on their mountain bikes for about a 6 mile ride on a mix of pavement, gravel roads and wooded singletrack. The final leg was the traditional triathlon type run on paved roads for another 3.6 miles.

Brent Roberts puts the fat in "fat tire"
The weather for the race started out breezy and overcast, making for choppy water on the lake for the paddlers. Once all the kayaks settled into their rhythm, after a fun-to-watch chaotic start consisting of a horde of boats all trying to head in the same direction, Ridge Hundley and Bob Vernon set the pace. By the time Bob and Ridge returned to the bike transition after paddling for 25:25, they had stretched their lead over the other boats by almost two minutes.

Once on the bikes, the racers faced an initial paved climb up from Summersville Lake (the elevation of the race finish is much greater than that of the start.) By the top of this climb, Bob Vernon had established a healthy lead of the now second place Ridge Hundley. However, on the ensuing downhill, Bob missed a turn that took the racers into the woods for the singletrack, and lost a significant amount of time. But Ridge was not now in the clear as a strong riding Kenny Parker, 3rd out of the water, was able to close the gap Ridge had gained on the lake. Even more impressive on the bikes were the mens amateur racers Chris Bailey and Phil Lovalenti who, clocked the fastest bike times of 29:34 and 31:15, respectively. But the next two fastest times were posted by Kenny and Ridge, who arrived at the running transition together in time of 58:42, over a four minute lead over third place.

Team Truant's Jenna Swan smiles for the camera
(or maybe it really is that much fun)

Even though the sun had now come out, and the day's temperatures had risen, Kenny and Ridge had little trouble maintaining their lead over the course of the run. In what could have been a sprint finish, the two competitors crossed the line together in a symbolic gesture for their friend, and fellow outdoor enthusiast, Sherwood Horine, who recently passed away in a tragic mountain biking accident.

Some of the day's other great performances were saved for the run. The fastest run time of 26:14 was put in by Phil Lovalenti, who after being 16th out of the lake, used his strong run and bike to finish 3rd overall. The second and third fastest runs of the day were put in by the female competitors Rosanne Walker (27:45), and the runner for Team Truant, Lori Gardner (28:14).

Ridge Hundley and Kenny Parker share the victory for a lost friend

The great day of racing wouldn't have been possible if it were not for the race directors, Donnie Hudspeth (whose wife, Beth, had a fine race) and Michael Gray, and the many sponsors including Gauley Marine & RV, One Valley Bank, Cellular One, Mountain River Tours, North American River Runners, Red Dog Productions, Coca-Cola, Kroger's, Rich Oil, and The Athlete's Foot.