Held on September 22, 2012, the Claytor Lake Sprint Triathlon attracted over 200 participants, many of whom traveled from out of state to participate, in what has been called an “ideal venue” for a triathlon.
Sprint participants coming out of the water to begin the biking segment of the race
The transition from swimming to biking begins
At the finish line
Back in 2011, Johnny Garrett, co-owner of the Bike Barn and outdoor enthusiast, approached Mike McMillion, owner of Pulaski Bikes, with an idea for a triathlon in the New River Valley area. Together they developed the idea of an open water triathlon, an event often sought after by triathlon competitors. Claytor Lake State Park was the obvious choice of location, with its beach complex, rolling terrain, and beautiful waterfront scenery.
With the support of Park Manager Chris Doss, and after just six weeks of preparation, Claytor Lake State Park’s inaugural triathlon hosted a respectable 52 participants in September of 2011. Joining forces with Garrett and McMillion in 2012, Anne Jones, founder of TriAdventure in Blacksburg, Virginia, performed the role of race director, helping to ensure that the second annual event would build from its 2011 success.
According to Jones, “The venue at Claytor Lake is one of the prettiest, roomiest, and most accessible I have ever been to.” The event consisted of a 500-yard swim, an 11.5-mile bike ride, and a 3.1-mile run. For a blog by Jones about the course, click here.
The overall male winner was Gregory Pfister out of Blacksburg, VA with a time of 1:02:46. The overall female winner was Sara Ziegler, also from Blacksburg, with a time of 1:16:48.
The 2013 Claytor Lake Sprint Triathlon is scheduled for September 14. Click here for the event website.
Whether you are participating in a triathlon, training for an event, or just an average person looking for a scenic locale to bike, hike, or swim, Claytor Lake State Park is a great location. If you don’t care to haul a bike along for, Pulaski Bikes offers rentals; they are located in the historic train depot in nearby Pulaski. If you need a new bike, repair or tune-up, check out either Pulaski Bikes or the Bike Barn in Blacksburg.