Outdoorsman Triathlon (29-30 Sept 2001)
MAPA hosted the 26th Annual Outdoorsman Triathlon, the Nation’s oldest triathlon and considered one of the most grueling races for the distance, on September 29/30 in the Nantahala Gorge area of Western North Carolina. For the first time in the event’s history, the overall race championship was claimed by a woman, Karla Havens. Karla completed the one mile lake swim in 20:35, the four mile mountain run in 31:09, and the eight mile canoe down the Little Tennessee River in 1:30:19 for a total time of 2:22:03. She defeated 9-time champion, Keith Havens (her brother-in-law) from Albion, MI, by 58 seconds. Olympian Lecky Haller from Bryson City placed 3rd with an overall time of 2:24:03.
The First Citizens Bank Collegiate Relay Challenge was won by a team from North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC). Warren Wilson College (Asheville, NC) placed second and Albion College (Albion, MI) placed third. The race is sponsored by First Citizen’s Bank of Bryson City, Nantahala Village, Nantahala Outdoor Center, USA Raft, Rolling Thunder River Company, Kim’s Coffee House, Wildwater LTD, Euchella Sport Lodge, and Rafting in the Smokies. The event is always held on the last full weekend in September.