Last Saturday, Tom Detrick, ARC Sales Manager, and Sara Marsh, ARC Asst. Manager, skipped out of work to compete in the New River Trail Challenge Triathlon. The banter had been high around the office for the last few months as these two competitors trained for the race. Tom clearly had the edge when it came to the bike stage. Sara clearly had the edge when it came to the run stage. Experience suggested Tom would have the edge in the paddle stage. But Sara had 20 years less wear on her body than the 47 yr. old Mr. Detrick , so the kayak leg was the wild card.
In an attempt to neutralize Tom's bike advantage, Sara pulled a vehicular Tonya Harding and had Tom run over on one of his early morning bike rides.
While his bike was demolished, his determination remained strong. Wear your helmets kids!
So, while Tom continued to focus on his bike/paddle speed, Sara continued to crush miles on her feet, hoping she would be able to catch Tom in the last stage, the half marathon. That's right folks. After a 40 mile bike ride, and Â a 12 mile kayak paddle the race finishes with a 13.1 mile run. That is 65 miles of movement!
The day of the race dawned and Team- Appomattox River Company ,was ready. Tom was paddling a Dagger Kayak Sitka, while Sara would be paddling a Necky Manitou 13 Kayak.
Sara's bike leg came in at 2:57:38. Tom's strategy was working, Sara had fallen 24 mins. back.
The kayak stage was next. Would Sara pick up any time? Tom definitely had more experience racing kayaks.
Tom came in at 1:55:25 for the paddle and Sara fell back another 24 minutes coming in at 2:19:52. Tom had his cushion, and it sat at 48 minutes. Would it be enough to hold back Mrs. Marsh?
"I had to keep pushing myself to move forward on the run. I knew Sara was coming for me like a freight train." Tom explained after the race.
"I had a mantra going, Just Catch Tom, Just Catch Tom. It kept me moving pretty fast," said Sara.
In a valiant effort, Sara had gained 38 minutes on Tom in the run. She finished at 2:04:01.
What an amazing effort by Team ARC! We are very proud and impressed with both our fine competitors!
Tom overcame a bike/ car collision during training (not actually Sara's doing), that sent him to the hospital, and completed the course in 7:10:53. A very respectable time!
Sara bested her previous year's time by an hour! She finished the race in 7:21:31, gaining a lot of ground in that last leg. Another very respectable time!
Both Tom and Sara said the race staff at the New River Trail Challenge Triathlon did an amazing job. The whole operation is run well and a lot of fun.
Word on the street is they're already talking about next year.
Team ARC - 65 miles, done!