5th Annual Big Piney Sprint Triathlon
A Fundraiser for Athletes Who Demand More
by Terry Allen
August 12, 2015
Big Piney Recreation Centerís director, Darren Davison has created an event that satisfies the elite athlete and at the same time is welcoming to the beginning or one sport athlete. "You can compete as an individual athlete in all three events, or you can be part of a team and compete in just one event," Darren said.
The competition is three events; a 300 meter (a little over three football fields in length) swim in the pool, an 11 mile bike race and a 5K (3.2 mile) foot race.
This year the competition offered a "Miniís" class for the very young as a way to encourage families to become involved in athletics. The race drew over 40 athletes of all ages.
Romey Ritter age 4 of Salt Lake was among the youngest to compete. "The race was really good," she said. "I liked the swimming best. The running was the hardest. It got real hard coming back."
The race is a fundraiser for Friends of Big Piney Recreation and was sponsored by many local businesses including: Tegeler and Associates, Altitude Drug, Pro-Active Physical Therapy, JLP, Inc., 5 Eís Services, Burney and Company, Blue Wing Consulting and Bennett Construction.
Taryn Eiden of 5 Eís Services said her company was pleased to sponsor the event because: "Itís a great thing for the kids, especially for those who canít afford to be involved otherwise," she said. "The money raised provides scholarships for whatever sport interests the kids. There is something for everybody at the rec. center. I really like to see the kids have fun and be active in our community."
The Triathlon isnít just for kids. Codie Bush of Boulder and mother of two elementary age children had more personal reasons for becoming a triathlon athlete. "Two years ago, I weighed 50 more pounds than I do now, due to having kids," she said. "I mostly lost the weight thru eating right. But, I really started triathlons to get over my fear of water," she said. "I had a near drowning experience as a kid. I was a weak swimmer. I would play around in the pool with my kids, but never in the deep water. So, last year I decided enough was enough. I started working on my technique so I could swim 25 yards without choking at every stroke and having a panic attack. Pretty soon I was swimming every day and fell in love with it. Last July I signed up for my first triathlon in Evanston. It wasnít pretty, but I finished it, and most of all, I didnít drown. But, my biggest joy has been to watch my husband compete. Itís a joy we now share together, and it feels good."
Codie felt good about her overall race performance, but feels she needs to work on her swim. "I think Iím getting a little better, but it has been hard to train," she said. "This winter Iím going to focus on swimming."
Codieís sisters Shannan and Cheyenne came to watch her compete and Shannan was impressed. "It seemed like it would be really hard to run after peddling your bike for 11 miles," she said. Is Shannan inspired to compete? "No, no one will be able to convert me," she said.
Gudrid Espenscheid, winner of the individual adult classification, has been competing in triathlons for over 20 years. "Running is my main hobby," she said, "but Iíve been doing a lot of trail running lately and it has become a bigger passion."
Gudrid (her Mother is Icelandic) was pleased with her race result. "I was a little slow out of the pool," she said. "Everyone was good in the pool today. There were a lot of high school athletes, so it was competitive and fun. On the bike race, I settled in for a steady cruise. I had to make up the time I lost in the pool section. On the run, I was lucky to have a little gal out in front of me who I was trying to catch and I finally got around her."
Melanie Bennett of Bennett Construction, one of the sponsors, stood at the finish line cheering the finishers. "The Rec. Center is a huge center of our community." "Itís like the hub. We have the Rec. Center and we have the Library, and thatís what keeps us all together."
Adult team: Kyler Griffen, Bruce Ritter, McKenzi Davison
Adult Individual: Gudrid Espenscheid, J.D. Bush, Danita Ritter
Individual Youth: Jade Espenscheid
Youth Team: Joey Wesycavage, Kelsey Brause, D.J. Varela
Photos by Terry Allen