J.F. Hurley triathlon draws 350 participants
By Lee Ann Sides Garrett
For the Salisbury Post
As three young girls played with his doberman, Dino, J.B. Brunet and a friend stood on the sidelines at Dan Nicholas Park on Sunday, cheering on Brunet’s wife, Alexis, in the J.F. Hurley Family YMCA’s Formula 1 Sprint Triathlon.
J.B. says he introduced Alexis to running and now she runs more than he does. This is Alexis’ second triathlon and J.B.’s first as a spectator. He liked what he saw.
“Now that I’m watching this,” J.B. said, “I think I’d like to do it.”
About 350 participants ran, biked and swam under an overcast sky. The race, patterned after the highly popular and successful Kure Beach Double Sprint, consisted of a 375-meter swim in the park lake, a 1.35-mile run, a 20-kilometer bike ride, another 1.35-mile run and another 375-meter swim.
“This format is unusual and that makes it a draw,” said Bill Scott, a representative of Setup, an organization hired by the YMCA to produce the triathlon. Scott says a typical triathlon format doesn’t repeat events. “They’re usually swim, bike, run,” he said.
Setup produces 40 to 50 triathlons a year in North Carolina.
The event drew participants from all age groups ó from 13-year-olds Shannon Scovel, of Cary, and Tyler Dennis, of Linden, to 67-year-old Jim Devine, of Fort Mill, S.C.
Charlotte resident Frank Fawcett was the overall winner with a total time of 1:06. Despite starting in the second wave of participants, Fawcett emerged the winner, making up time in almost every leg of the race.
“It’s unusual for the overall winner not to come from the first group,” Scott said.
However, Fawcett was not the first to cross the finish line. Fifteen-year old Matus Kriska was the first participant to finish, with a total time of 1:08.
Top Rowan County finishers were Robert Cristman, of Salisbury, finishing 11th overall in the men’s division, and Sarah Busby, of Salisbury, who finished 12th overall in the women’s division.
Sandy Flowers, executive director of the J.F. Hurley Family YMCA, said that even with Setup’s help, the event takes six months of planning. More than 75 volunteers helped out at the park and along the race routes.
“This is a great event the family can do together,” Flowers said.
Overcast skies kept temperatures comfortable, but the sun peeked through the clouds as soon as the race was over.
“The Lord blessed this event, clouds kept it cool, nobody got hurt,” YMCA volunteer Wade Rouzer said. “It’s my job to take care of the weather. I pray hard.”
Complete race results are available at setupevents.com.