Dear Outdoorsman Triathletes,
A big “thank you” for all of you that braved the raw elements of the Smoky Mountains and lined up along the long, muddy line to compete in the 48th running of the Outdoorsman Triathlon, the Nation’s Oldest Triathlon! We had the privilege to watch two of the Race Founders, Russ Callen and Payson Kennedy, compete this year.
It was wonderful to have the Lindsey Wilson College students compete in remembrance of long-time Outdoorsman Triathlete, Scott Dillery. There was a lot of talking on the river during the Individual Race from the students and I had hoped to hear a good t-shirt quote or two until I realized most of it wasn’t printable 😊
A special recognition to Race Founder Russ Callen who completed his 48th Individual Race! We also had the honor of watching Race Founder Payson Kennedy, at age 90, compete in his final canoe race as the paddler for the Guru Relay Team. After another fast paddle down the Little Tennessee River, he graciously donated his canoe to Southwestern Community College. That is a lot of pressure on SCC for next year (though I suspect Payson could borrow it if needed!).
We truly appreciate our main sponsors: The Outdoorsman Triathlon Charitable Trust, Nantahala Outdoor Center, Rolling Thunder River Company, Nantahala Village, Russ Callen, Jo Carol & Dodge Havens, Sue & Scott Dillery, BR & Susan Carson, and Phil & Lynda Pickett.
A special thanks to the volunteers without which the race couldn’t happen. Timers: Sue Havens & Sue Dillery; Kudzu Path Maintenance: Paul Wolf; Canoe Put-in Maintenance: Jim Hall; Course Set-up & Take down: Ed Sharp, Karla Havens, Zak Havens, Matt Werner, Katie Robinson-Jones, Sue Havens, & Kade Havens; Swim Course Safety: Megan & Edison Duff, & Katie Robinson-Jones; River Course Safety: Mike Robinson, Katie Robinson-Jones, Dan Havens, Ed Sharp, Brendan Wommack, & Keith Havens; Photography: Bonnie Havens & Paul Wolf; and Website support: Joe Sharp. Special recognition for the massive canoe wrangling effort after the trailer incident which is illustrative of the esprit de corps of Outdoorsman Triathletes (Keith Havens, Mike Robinson, Paul Wolf, Ann Armstrong, Cesar Sica, Zak Havens, Blue Ayala, Charlie Ayala, Malte Ahrens, & Jesse Patterson). And thank you to everyone who helped carry canoes up the hill at the end of the race (particularly past competitors Ian & Gavin Ross who stopped by at the relay finish just in time for the canoe carrying)!
The 2023 results can be found here: https://outdoorsmantriathlon.org/reader/
Take a week off and then back to training for next year! The 49th running of the Nation’s Oldest Triathlon will take place the last FULL weekend in September (September 28/29, 2024). See you then along the long muddy line at the swim start!
Kirk & Ed