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Friday, June 15, 2001 -- Thurmond - Fayetteville, WV
Captain Thurmond's Challenge (iPO Event Id#: 3005)
Story and photos by Don Parks with boating photos by Heather Bury

[Details] [Coverage]
[Overall Results] [Results by Class]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6] [Set 7]
[1998 Coverage] [1999 Coverage] [2000 Coverage]

Race Pic
Start you off with a good hard mountain bike ride...
The Captain was up to his old tricks again, and this time he added a little more mountain biking to his annual challenge. Apparently, someone previously mentioned that the cycling section was a little too easy... well not any more. "The bike leg was a legitamate mountain bike race of it's own," commented Brad Yurish after finishing first in the sport male solo class.

With recent rains making for a hot and muggy afternoon, a crowd of mountain bikes left Thurmond for a brutal 15-mile ride. A quick crossing of the bridge over the New River and it was into the woods. It was 1:15:56 later before Jonathan Martin found his way downstrem to Cunard and the boat transition. With Donnie Hudspeth taking to the kayak, with Martin's lead, for team The Machine, things were looking good.

Next to finish the bike leg was expert solo competitor and defending champ Chris Pohowsky. He was still over three minutes behind The Machine at 1:19:11, but ahead of the rest of the field by twice that much.

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Then it's a race down the New River...
The New River, running at two feet, was the next challenge for the field with an eight-mile stretch to Fayette Station waiting. Managing the fastest time from the bike to the take-out was solo sport racer Mark Moore (50:26). But his time did little to cut into class leader Brad Yurish's eight-minute head start off the bike. Also staying on top was The Machine with Hudspeth recording the second fastest boat at 51:06.

With an almost 10-minute advantage on the field going in to the run, there was no stopping the Machine. Daniel McDowell, even after getting lost on the trail, finished in 41:59 and gave his team a first overall finish in 2:49:01.

Racing up the gorge from Fayette Station to the town of Fayetteville in the fastest time was The Fowl Dogs' Chris Walsh with a time of 30:03 to launch his team up from 17th to 6th overall. Several more good runs moved teams and individuals up through the ranks, but Pohowsky easily held on for the first expert solo title at 2:58:18 with a 42:21 run.

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And we finish of with a nice run UP the the Gorge
Among the ladies it was the good-natured Maura Kistler beating up on the competition (and always with a smile) with a final time of 3:29:16.

In the competition for the "Golden Paddle", an award given to the best rafting company team, it was a battle between MRT and NARR. NARR raced to a big lead with a strong bike and the downriver raft section did little to close the gap. However, MRT powered through the run to take the title and earn the paddle for 2001.

After all the racing it was time for a barbecue and awards celebration at Fayetteville Town Park, and it was fun for racers and the whole family. All sorts of cash and prizes (including a good number of random giveaways) went out to the crowd as everyone had something to smile about. Once again, thanks to Fayette County National Bank, ACE Adventure Center and many more generous sponsors, the Captain's Challenge was a success... we'll see you there again in 2002!