Kingdom Triathlon – August 6, 2011 - Recap
Derby and Morgan, VT -- There was corn on the cob all around and a sense of history in the making, as the numbers of triathletes participating in the second year of Kingdom Triathlon’s “even-up” series tripled from 2010. This was the second running of Kingdom Triathlon’s Aquaman – Even Up, which is a half iron level tri with a twist, a traditional 13.1 mile run, a 30 mile bike (instead of 56) and a 3.5 mile swim (instead of 1.2). New this year was “The Ollie” – a 10K (6.2 mile) run, a 15 mile bike and a 1.75 mile swim. Kingdom Triathlon also hosted “The Sprint,” a more traditional tri, now in its 4th year. Also new this year was the Seymour Swim for swimmers who wanted to enjoy the crystal clear waters of Lake Seymour without all the other falderal of running and biking.
By all accounts, the “even up” series was received with sense of pure joy, as many participants said again and again – “It’s about time.” And there is no better place to swim the longer legs than Lake Seymour – some of the cleanest, clearest waters in the northeast. But the run, oh that run, on our Dandelion Run 13.1 mile course, is hilly and “brutally challenging.” Many who run the course in May, when the fields are filled with millions of Dandelions, describe the run as the most beautiful and the most challenging half marathon in the northeast. So, the Aquaman is no “lay up” shot for strong swimmers. You’ve got to have the legs to take on some serious hills, again, and again, throughout 13.1 miles, mostly set on dirt roads. This year, adding to the challenge, was a hot, humid summer day. What a race!!!
Gil Sharon of Westborough, MA and Laurie Hug of Ambler, PA repeated as male and female winners of the Aquaman Triathlon. Each received 1st Place cedar wood medals (“woodals”) prepared by Papa’s Woodcrafts and Memphremagog Press, a half gallon jug of maple syrup from Couture’s Sugar Shop and B&B in Westfield and a half pound of beef jerky from Brault’s Meat House in Troy. In addition, they each won an EXTERRA wetsuit for their efforts.
Special Congratulations to Eric Nietsche, age 24, of Norwalk, CT and Jennifer McDonald, age 44, of Potsdam, NY, the male and female winners of the very first Ollie Even Up Tri. “So, I’m making some history here?” Eric asked. Yes, indeed you are, Eric and Jennifer. As were all of the even up participants, as this movement grows.
Todd Smith, age 36, from Charlotte, VT was the fastest finisher of the day, winning The Sprint over John Lipmann, age 37 of Newport, VT (2nd) and Dugie Ross, age 59, of Stanstead, QC. Among the Women, Carol Ann Gray, age 42, of Pawcatuck, CT, took first place over Kathleen Bannon, age 35, of Winchester, MA (2nd) and our very own Erika Fortin, age 16 of Derby, VT. We are absolutely thrilled to see Erika finish so strong -- among the top three females in the Sprint.
Winners in all events received cedar wood ”woodals,” maple syrup and beef jerky. They also received various prizes including apparel and helmets from Louis Garneau and lift tickets to Jay Peak.
The four-person Boston Triathlon Team won the “For the Love of the Tri” award, a $100 gift certificate to Lo’s Tavern. The award was given to the team for its enthusiastic participation in last year’s inaugural Aquaman and its promotion of the event throughout this past year.
The award for furthest travelled went to 37 year-old, Michael Murphy, of Petaluma, CA. Runner up was Jeremy Smith, age 60, from Jacksonville, FL (who is typically seen on the registration lists of Kingdom Swim.) “I couldn’t make it this year to the swim because of the change of date. So, I signed up for The Sprint.” Thanks, Jeremy. Great to have you.
Richard Turner, age 66 of Toronto, Ontario, cleaned up - narrowly claiming our highly coveted “Last One Back to the Barn Award” for that participant who demonstrates gritty persistence and a “fist in the face of reality” attitude so prevalent among the residents of this hardscrabble place known as the Northeast Kingdom – The prize, a complete autographed set of the works to date by Howard Mosher. Jerry Fassett was not far ahead, narrowly losing this hard fought battle for last place in the Aquaman.
And Jerry lost again to Richard for the “Most Mature” participant to complete the Aquaman. The Prize -- Perimeter Check I and II by our beloved and cuddly local journalist, Paul Lefevbre.
But Jerry Fassett did not go home empty handed. His team of four, The Quebec Nordiques, featuring Francine Amyot, Michel Gagne and Caroline Bouchet faced off against a Boston Triathlon Team of four and a pick-up team, The Finishers, also from the Boston area. The challenge – which team of four could post the fastest cumulative time (3 in the Aquaman and 1 in the Ollie). The Prize – a driftwood log, known simply as “The Stick” which was won last year by the Boston Triathlon Team as the largest (and fastest) team. With wonderful good spirit, BTT returned the stick to Derby at the start of the race and put it in play, this year to the Fastest Four. But both the BTT and The Finishers each had a member fail to complete the race. One by one, Francine, Michel, and Caroline each finished, leaving Jerry out on the course. When he finished (in second to last place) his teammates were waiting for him at the finish line, raising the driftwood log high in celebration. “The Stick is ours!” shouted Michel. “You may have the Stanley Cup. But we have The Stick.”
Special thanks to IROC’s staff and hearty volunteers led this Saturday by Nicole Schneeberger and Katy Murray and to the Lake Salem and Lake Seymour Associations, Westmore Emergency Rescue and the State Police for their help and support in running Kingdom Triathlon.
And to our many, many sponsors, thanks so much for your support of IROC’s Kingdom Summer Games of running, biking, swimming, and triathlon events, We are now drawing participants from 35 different states, 5 Canadian provinces, Mexico, Great Britain, and as far away as Mumbai, India. Without your support, these events simply would not be possible:
Community National Bank – Jay Peak – MVP – North Country Hospital – Vermont Highland Cattle Company – The EastSide – Paul Decelles Investment Planning – Wilson & White, P.C. – xterra wetsuits – Hammer Nutrition – Louis Garneau – TriSports.com – Vermont Sports – The Town of Derby – Poulin Lumber – Jennifer Nelson, Esq. – Passumpsic Bank – Taylor-Moore Agency – Stanstead College – Pick & Shovel – Millennium Integrated Marketing – Kinney Drug Foundation – Delta Dental – Community Financial services Group – The Village Bike Shop – Lo’s Tavern – Littleton Bike Shop – Clyde River Recreation – Montgomery’s Café – Woodknot Bookshop – Peoples United Bank - Whipple Studio – ADA Flagging – Vermont Heritage Spring Water – Coutts Moriarty – Papa’s Woodcrafts – Memphremagog Rentals – Juddy’s Septic – Sweet Scoops – LB Snack Bar – Jon Somes Salon – Memphremagog Press
Phil White, Chairman of the Board
Indoor Recreation Orleans County