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Competitors, volunteers, sponsors made triathlon success

Wow! Another year is done! Our seventh Annual Buck Hurley Triathlon is “in the books.” And boy was it a memorable one! We have been very fortunate with the weathe,r but as it is with all things, if you do it long enough you will hit some bad weather and boy did we! Not just rain, torrential downpour!

It didn’t keep the triathletes from competing, and it surely didn’t keep the volunteers home! Rain or shine “the show” must go on!

A very special thank you to all our sponsors, without them we would not be able to host this exciting event! Gordon and Carolyn Hurley, the Mills Family, Larry Cloninger, Busby and Webb Orthodontics, Bill and Shari Graham, F&M Bank, Law offices of Koontz and Smith, Fowler Physical Therapy, Wendy’s Restaurant, RAM Pavement, Novant Health, Techno Gym the Wellness Company, Tina Merhoff, DDS, Novant Health Carolina Women’s Associates, Salisbury Tutoring Academy the One on One school, Central piedmont Builders, Salisbury Rowan Runners, Hendrix BBQ, O’Charley’s Restaurant and Bar, Walmart, Skinny Wheels, Sheetz, all of our wonderful volunteers with a special “shout out” to our Salisbury Police Department, Salisbury Fire Department, Pinocchio’s Restaurant and our great neighbor Life Church and all of our neighbors on this course to let us inconvenience you once a year on an early Sunday morning.

As a race director, your main goal is to run a well-organized, exciting and safe event. With an amazing community such as Salisbury and the support we receive, it’s humbling to be part of this. Needless to say, I was pretty much glued to the weather channel. In the pool, we cannot swim when there is thunder and lightening. Fortunately it held off. On the road on a bike, rain and wet pavement is a recipe for huge challenges, yet we managed this race with only three flat tires where one wasn’t able to finish. First-timer Craige Farmer and returning triathlete and great competitor Dr. Stallworth pedaled themselves silly on flat tires! Both had to finish and did and placed! Top competitor Derek Kidwell was only 14 seconds off his bike record from last year in this miserable weather. And what got me the most is all the smiles of our participants and them jumping in the huge puddles of water after they had finished. I guess the day could not have gone any better.

Our volunteers were amazing. In the pouring rain, they cheered on our competitors and worked hard on campus to keep things running smooth. A special thank you to my amazing husband Kevin Marsh who does so many things for this triathlon behind the scenes, and without him absolutely could not do this. And Jennifer Burroughs, my right hand who took Sarah Busby’s place this year while she was able to attend her children’s soccer tournament, which I think also had lots of rain! Most special was to be there with all three of my children: my soldier daughter Frankie Foust, who came from Fort Campbell, Ky., my daughter Edie Belk from Fort Bragg, and of course my son Andrew Burgess, still in Salisbury and a sophomore at West Rowan high school.

All in all, a very special day in a great community with awesome local support. Thank you. Next year’s exciting event will be early Sunday morning on May 7, 2017!

Ester H Marsh is associate executive director of the JF Hurley Family YMCA

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