A pack of aspiring extreme athletes struggled against the elements, distance, and their own willpower Saturday in the “Ready, Set, Tri,” sprint triathlon.
Michael Manley, of Wichita, won the race with a time of 58 minutes, 1 second.
The coed event was the brainchild of Marion residents Shawna Johnson and Sarah Dye drew in 36 participants, 29 of which finished the race.
Originally, Johnson and Dye were both going to compete as well but in organizing event particulars, their plans changed.
“I took on the race director role and Sarah competed,” Johnson said. “I don’t know how she did it with everything else she had going on, but she rocked it.”
Johnson said over-the-road flooding from rain the night before almost forced them to have to reroute a portion of the course.
“The rain definitely added an element of stress we were not expecting,” Johnson said, “We were prepared to change the course but luckily we didn’t have to. God has His hand in it, and the low water bridge opened up right as we were preparing to start the race.”
Dye said there was a little worry about cold water temperatures because of the rain, but that changed when she got wet.
“The second I dove in I knew it was going to be a beautiful swim,” Dye said. “The water temperature was perfect. There were no waves or currents to make the swim difficult.”
She called the bike ride amazing because there was little to no wind to battle, and said low temperatures and relatively no humidity made for a great run.
“It was so much fun,” Dye said. “We couldn’t have asked for a better day.”
Dye placed 19th at 1 hour, 24 minutes, 31 seconds.
Johnson expressed thanks to all the volunteers and races. She said they actively planning another triathlon for Sept. 9, 2017. She hopes to find another race director next year so she can compete, too.
“We already have a lot of participants looking forward to competing again,” Johnson said.
County finishers were as follows: Jacob Yoder, of Peabody, was fourth at 1:07:35; Austin Neufeld, Marion, fifth at 1:07:45; Donna Spoonemore, Hillsboro, sixth at 1:08:48; Becky Yoder, Peabody, 10th at 1:13:21; Rebecca Hofer, Marion, 11th at 1:16:10; Mike Moran, Marion, 12th at 1:17:07; Albert Johnson, Marion, 14th at 1:19:05; Alex Case, Marion, 17th at 1:21:31; Michele Lundy, Marion, 21st at 1:32:38; Tammy Ensey, Marion, 23rd at 1:36:50; Misty Hett, Marion, 24th at 1:38:48; Cheri Ochs Wheeler, Marion, 25th at 1:41:52; Jennifer Frese, Marion, 26th at 1:43:39; and Kate Bergman, Peabody, 28th at 1:46:28.