Race Founders Russ Callen, Payson Kennedy, & John Burton

Dear 2022 Outdoorsman Triathletes,

Once again you have braved the raw elements of the Smoky Mountains to compete in the Nation’s Oldest Triathlon! This year was a milestone in that we had all three Race Founders (Russ Callen, John Burton, and Payson Kennedy) return and compete!

We owe much gratitude to our volunteers without which this race couldn’t be held: Chief Timers Sue Havens and Sue Dillery, Course Safety people Ed Sharp, Taylor, Katie Havens, Keith Havens, Dan Havens, Scott Dillery, Jim Ross, and Mike Robinson & Katy; Course Setup people Ed Sharp, Kade Havens, and Karla Havens; Webmaster Joe Sharp, and Course Weed & kudzu Whackers Paul Wolf and Jim Hall. And thanks to the official photographers Bonnie Havens and Katie Havens, and of course, the super helpful boat carriers!

Special thanks to our main Sponsors: The Outdoorsman Triathlon Charitable Trust, Nantahala Outdoor Center, Rolling Thunder River Company, Nantahala Village, Russ Callen, Dodge & Jo Carol Havens, Scott & Sue Dillery, BR & Susan Carson, and Phil & Linda Pickett. And, of course, it is always a special treat to have Race Founder, Russ Callen continue his streak and complete his 47th individual Outdoorsman, an amazing feat, and check out 82-year-old Ed Sharp and 89-year-old Payson Kennedy’s paddle times compared to the college teams (and the rest of us)! It was fantastic to have Race Founder, John Burton, race the paddle leg of a relay and finish with the third fastest paddle time.  We hope he will be able to attend next year which will be the 48th running of the Outdoorsman Triathlon. So, you’ve had your couple days of rest, and it’s time to start training for next year – last full weekend in September – September 23rd and 24th. See you there!