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Buck Hurley Triathlon has grown

By David Freeze
For the Salisbury Post
More than 220 participants competed Sunday morning in the Second Buck Hurley Triathlon.
Race conditions were near perfect, with most racers starting in the early morning at the JF Hurley YMCA. The race is named for Buck Hurley, son of Gordon and Carolyn Hurley. Five separate races made up the event.
The morning’s main event was the Sprint Triathlon, covering 350 yards swimming, 10 miles biking, and 3.1 miles running.
Salisbury triathletes Robert Chrisman and Delaine Fowler successfully defended their titles from last year. Chrisman was the overall winner with a time of 54 minutes and 46 seconds. Fowler improved on last year’s course record with her winning time of 59:55.
Fowler said immediately after the race that she didn’t realize that the second place runner was closing behind her as they approached the finish. “I looked around and there she was,” she said. “I drank too much water and my stomach gave me some trouble. I’m happy to win. What a great day for Salisbury with everyone celebrating health and fitness! I love the fact that there is a race for everyone in the family.”
Fowler’s husband Alan was an early finisher and her parents were on hand to see her race.
Chrisman won again also, and was impressed by the effort of the volunteers on the course.
“They were quick to cheer everyone,” he said. “They let us compete on a closed course, and we don’t usually get that. I loved the fast bike course, too. I was also happy to see so many new triathletes out today.”
Salisbury dentist Dr. Bret Busby, a close second in the men’s race, echoed Fowler’s thoughts about the Hurley triathlon being a family event.
“I saw the small children and one infant being cared for by the YMCA staff while their parents raced. Young children had their own races, and the adult race was extremely competitive. The triathletes feel well cared for here, which isn’t always the case at other races.”
Busby and his wife Sarah, both avid triathletes, helped race director Ester Marsh plan the event. The Sprint portion had 102 individual competitors and eight relay teams.
Thirty-four individuals and one relay team competed in the Super Sprint Triathlon. Distances were 100 yards in the pool, 2 miles on the bike, and 1 mile running. Pieter dehart of Lexington, Va., was the male winner in 24:16 and the Kelly Levie of Charlotte won the female race in 26:51.
Race sponsors were Tina S. Merfhoff and Associates Pedriatic Dentistry, Larry Cloninger Ford, Busby and Webb Orthodontics, Debbie Bernhardt Jewelry, Cheerwine, CiCi’s Pizza, Multi Wall Packaging, Windsong Bike Shop, Broadwell and Hartung Family Dentistry, Pinnochio’s Restaurant, Erico Enterprises, the Salisbury Post, Sportrax, Dr. James Jolly DDS, Ram Pavement, Autumn Care, Vac and Dash, Wendy’s Restaurant, Wallace and Graham, Distinctive Nature Scapes, Carolina Women’s Health Associates, Fowler Physical Therapy, Salisbury Tutoring Academy, Melanie Marshall DDS, F&M Bank, Food Lion, Gerry Wood and Baylee’s Steakhouse.
Norma Honeycutt, Deborah Howell and Colleen Carman competed in the team event. While Howell is a regular runner, Carman and Honeycutt had not competed in an organized event before. Honeycutt had challenged herself last year while attending the inaugural event to get in better shape and participate this year. She said, “I saw all of the healthy athletes, and it inspired me. They were ‘real swimmers’ and I dreamed of being one. I have lost 30 pounds from swimming regularly, and I feel great. On one hand, I wasn’t sure I could do it. But now that I have, I will be back next year. This was so much fun.”
Honeycutt, Howell and Carman all are administrators for Partners in Learning, a Five-Star Child Care facility that has recently started a comprehensive wellness program. “I knew it would be good for us, and for the others to see that we did it,” Honeycutt said.
Once again this year, safety on the course was handled by the city of Salisbury Police Department and Fire Department, with able assistance from Locke Fire Department. Race Director Marsh said “We couldn’t do it without them. They do a fantastic job! Proceeds go to ‘We Build People,’ the YMCA program that ensures that no one will be turned away based on financial need. This is the YMCA’s largest single event fundraiser. Thanks to over 100 volunteers and staff who helped, and we are already planning for next year. It is such a humbling experience to be part of such a great event with such strong community support.”
Timing was provided by RMS Sports of Marion, South Carolina. Complete results are available at www.salisburyrowanrunners.org

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