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Sunday, August 1, 2004 -- Huntington, WV
Tristate Triathlon (iPO Event Id#: 6006)
Story and photos by Ariana Kincaid

[Details] [Coverage]
[Overall Results] [Results by Class]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6] [Set 7] [Set 8] [Set 9]
[Set 10] [Set 11] [Set 12] [Set 13] [Set 14] [Set 15] [Set 16] [Set 17] [Set 18] [Set 19] [Childrens Triathlon]
[More Pics from Jeff's Bike Shop]

Tristate Triathlon
The mass swim start
Thankfully, the Second Annual Tristate Triathlon on August 1, had much better weather thanthe previous day's Childrens Triathlon. The morning started misty and cool, and only really warmed up after the sun crested the tops of the mountains surrounding the beach at Beech Fork State Park, sometime after 10:00 am. Of course, by that time, the competitors were aware of little but the pavement on which they were biking or running, and the back of the person in front of them. Relay and Sprint competitors swam 1 1/2 mile, biked 40k, and ran a 5k course. Olympic competitors swam 1500 meters, biked the same 40k course, and ran a 10k.

The race got a late start because the vans shuttling competitors from overflow parking at the dam were being held up by other traffic and the park rangers and police who were being zealous about the safety of the competitors. The Relay (team) and Sprint (short course) competitors were scheduled to start at 7:45 am, but didn't get started until nearly 8:30 a.m., but in spite of the delay, the moods of the spectators, volunteers, and competitors were positive. Olympic competitors got started approximately 5 minutes after the Relay and Sprint competitors, which made for some overlap of swimmers. The athletes were color-coded by their swimcaps, and there was very little confusion.

Tristate Triathlon
Smooth biking transitions
Most notable about the swimming leg of the course were the red kayaks manned by emergency aid personnel, and the enthusiasm of the volunteers as each swimmer came ashore.

Each athlete was reminded, "The hardest part is over and if it weren't for the swim, anybody could do this!" Which not only buoyed (no pun intended) the spirits of the competitors, but also encourage the spectators to cheer raucously for each person who came ashore. Oh, and did I mention that floaties and snorkels were allowed? More than one spectator indicated that had they known that, they might have competed. Of course, at least one of those was kidding, so who really knows?

Competitors then went to the bike transition area, where they either handed off their computer race chip to the next person on their team, or got themselves prepared for their 40k bike ride. Whether or not this prep time was included in the total time for competitors, several indicated that this area is where an athlete might get psyched out by the confusion of the transition before or after the bike and therefore, might cost him- or herself the race.

Tristate Triathlon
Running with a smile
Finishing the Olympic course first was Robert Smith age 26 of Huntington, WV, with a time of 2:13:22. Second and third places belonged to two guys from Virginia who statistically speaking, were on each others heels. Jim Mcgehee age 41, of Newport News finished with a time of 2:19:11 and thirty-six year old Dan Frost of Arlington completed the course in 2:19:53.

For the women Staci Aulick age 34, finished with a nearly ten-minute lead at 2:29:05. She's from Huntington, WV. Kate Harlow, 20, also of Huntington, finished with a time of 2:38:44. From Huntington's sister city of Barboursville came Nancy Henderson, 28, to finish third with a time of 2:44:29.

Tristate Triathlon
Everyone's a winner
For the Sprint (short course), Fairfax, Virginia native Eric Ivey age 32, finished with a time of 1:46:53. Bill St. Clair, 40, of Huntington, finished with a time of 1:47:43. Also from Huntington, 27- year-old Hunter Boshell finished third with a time of 1:55:19. Three more Cabell Countians dominated the women's side of the competition, Sonia Chambers, 38, from Huntington, with a time of 2:02:58, was the first-finishing female. Second place went to Milly Biller, 44, at 2:07:11. She's from Barboursville. In third place was Huntington's Patricia Lee with a time of 2:13:33.

For the Relay event, the results were as follows: 1st place went to Harrison County YMCA, from Clarksburg, WV, with a combined team-member time of 1:37:39. Advanced Eyecare Center of South Charleston, WV, placed second with a time of 1:41:41. And YMCA of Murray KY, wrapped up the top three with a time of 1:42:52.

Special thanks to all who competed, the volunteers who made everything run smoothly, Tom Dannals, Huntington YMCA,, Lavalette EMS, the City of Huntington, and a whole slew of others that made the event enjoyable for competitor and spectator alike.