With around 100 racers, the McMinnville Mountain Crawl triathlon continues to grow.
Consisting of three legs – a two-mile run into Cumberland Caverns followed by a 7.4-mile bike ride to Smooth Rapids and a six-mile kayak trip to the finish line at the VFW, the majority of participants came from out of town.
This year, the last leg proved to be the most challenging due to the low water level. Most competitors had to hop out and drag their kayak at multiple points.
“I had to get out three or four times, but overall it was a great race,” said Manchester resident Aaron Wiser. “I’m a huge swimmer but I like kayaking when I get to do it.”
Agreed Morrison resident Sarah Watters, “The river part was more challenging, but it was really kind of fun because you couldn’t just get on the river and float; you had to maneuver. The paddle was my favorite part.”
Added Hickman resident and first-timer Paula Chilton, “The last 30 minutes kayaking, I felt like I was getting delirious singing to myself row, row, row your boat. It was really pretty though.”
David Jones, 32, was crowned the victor after completing the race in 2:00:27.9. He was the fastest biker, while his kayak and running time were both in the top 10 in the individual competitive standings. His total time eclipsed Wiser by 10 seconds.
Matthew Bratcher, third overall, turned in the top run time (9:29) in the individual competitive portion, while Wiser was the fastest kayaker, finishing the six-mile final leg in 1:25:58.
Andy Brigham, 58, won the individual noncompetitive division with a time of 2:14:13.5.
"The event went very smoothly. The weather was perfect and everyone was safe and had fun," said Mandy Eller, McMinnville-Warren County Chamber of Commerce president and event coordinator.
Eller noted that 37 of the participants were from the Greater Nashville area, while four came from out of state.
Two participants made the trek from Germany to attend this year's event.
Over $3,000 in prizes were awarded to overall winners, overall by gender and first finish by leg for the competitive class.
More results will follow in future editions.