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Saturday, August 6, 2005 - Sunday, August 7, 2005 -- Huntington - Lavalette, WV Tristate Triathlon (iPO Event Id#: 6783) Story and photos by Eric Anderson

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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] [Set 20] Past Coverage: [2003] [2004]

Photo by Eric Anderson
Are we having fun yet?
It was not the Ironman in Hawaii, but the HealthyHuntington.orgtriathlon had all the excitement surrounding it, like it was a world class championship. With having perfect weather with sunny skies, and warm lake water, around 250 participants were eagerly ready to conquer both the Olympic and sprint courses.

Many participants were beginners looking to just have a wonderful time and brag about their fun experience to friends. But others came for more serious competition. No matter who crossed the line, almost everyone seemed to be happy with their experience and also with knowing they completed a challenge that only the strong spirited could accomplish.

Photo by Eric Anderson
Waiting for the fog to clear
There were all sorts of different people from different areas of the region who participated in the triathlon, but it was Tara Annis that received the attention from the crowd and participants. Tara is legally blind, and she finished the entire swim all by herself. She was apart of a relay and she kicked off the race in style with a strong swim seven minutes prior to the start of the rest of the participants. Tara proved to all who watched that anyone can do at least one part of a triathlon if they put their mind to it.

The athletes who did finish in the top three both in the Olympic distance and short distance both finished with incredible times. In the sprint distance it was Chris Porter who came across the finish line first with a time of 1:44:10, and Jon Boggs was clipping at Porter's heels finishing only 4 seconds behind. Doug Covington rounded out the top three with an impressive time of 1:47:06.

Photo by Eric Anderson
Enjoying the bike leg
In the Olympic distance race, it was Jim McGehee winning with a time of 2:21:06. Jeff Joy came in second clocking in at 2:22:33, and Sean Maloy came in third with a time of 2:25:07. These were very impressive times for both courses, because the 5k course and 10k course have hills and are not known to be fast courses. The bike part is also very challenging with hills spread out through the entire ride.

This race would have not been possible without the help of over 100 volunteers, and with the master mind of race director Tom Dannals and his racing crew. Thanks to all those who made the third annual triathlon become such a huge success for 2005.