Weekend Triathlons fun for all ages

Published 10:20 am Sunday, August 2, 2009

Associate Publisher

“We heard this would be a great event to enter,” said Kari Nicholas who traveled to Washington from Seeley Lake, Montana. “We saw this as an opportunity to visit friends and family along the way.”
Indeed, Kari, 41, competed in the triathlon with her sister and brother-in-law who made the trip from Georgia. Also making the trip were their children who seemed proud of their fit parents. “My mom’s going to kick butt,” said Quinn Nicholas, 13. His cousin Molly, also 13, was not as emphatic, but just as proud when she observed, “this has been very good for my mom — she really enjoys it!”
150 athletes competed in the Washington Olympic Triathlon, each with their own unique story of commitment, sacrifice and fun.
“We have representatives from six states and all ages. This is truly an all-inclusive event.,” explained Catherine Glover, director of the Washington/Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce, the event sponsor. We have 55 volunteers who arrived this morning as early as 4:30 to make sure the event goes smoothly. I should also thank those who helped (Friday) night with the youth triathlon. We’re very pleased with the participation from athletes and our local volunteers.”
Sarah Burke, 23, a Marine Corps officer from Morehead City is competing in just her second triathlon. “I’m excited and a little nervous. Looking at the orange buoys in the water is a little intimidating. That’s a long distance to swim!”
Many competitors agreed with Sarah that the swim is the most grueling part of the three-leg triathlon. Swimmers were greeted with calm waters to begin their 1,500 meter open water swim, followed by a 28-mile bike through Beaufort County. The competition ended with a 6.2 mile run, and many exhausted participants.
The FS Series of triathlons are held at locations throughout the state. “This is probably the best location, across-the-board” stated Jason Biggs the onsite representative of FS Series, an event production company based in Raleigh. The management team also includes Brent Dorenkamp and Marc Primanti. “There is so much space to work with in the transition area. The bike course is rural, so we don’t have to deal with much traffic, and this is great water at 82 degrees in a beautiful setting.”
The Washington Park waterfront was a hub of activity before dawn as organizers made arrangements, athletes began their warm-up routines, and enthusiastic supporters offered encouraging words.
Teamwork was on full display as several participants combined their relative strengths into one strong unit. Three local men comprised one of the teams. Sam Fulmer rode the bike; Ted Melton ran the course and Teddy Mac Day was the designated swimmer for the team. Fulmer was able to shake-off pre race jitters, “Nah, I’m not nervous. I’ve done two or three sprints before and I’m ready to go! We have a good team and are excited to compete.”
The weekend of physical endurance kicked off Friday with the first ever Washington Youth Triathlon. Over 40 young athletes managed a 100-meter swim, 1.7 mile bike course and half kilometer run.
Zack Pagnani, 11, from Washington Park didn’t have to travel far to compete. He enjoyed the experience, “I’d definitely do it again next year. The bike was the easiest part, but the swim was different than I thought. We didn’t just go out and back, we had to go kind of in a triangle. The run was the hardest since it was at the end and my side was hurting a bit. The best part was knowing I had finished.”
Race results will be published next week in the WDN.