Editor’s note: Date changed from August 6 to August 13 due to a conflict with West Virginia’s Largest Yard Sale.
BUCKHANNON – The Upshur County Recreation Complex, located behind Buckhannon-Upshur High School, invites athletes from far and wide to compete in a triathlon next month.
Upshur County Parks and Recreation director Jeremiah McCourt said the triathlon will take place Saturday, Aug. 13 at around 9 a.m. The event will include a 500-meter swim at the pool, an approximately 12-mile bike ride to the Brushy Fork Event Center, and then a 5K around the cross-country course.
“I want to say six or seven years ago was the last one we did, and it was actually substantially shorter,” McCourt said. “I think it was only a 300-meter swim, four- or five-mile bike, and then a one-mile run. We definitely upped all the distances, but it’s still considered a sprint triathlon.”
McCourt and Eric Jett, the Director of Wellness and Conditioning for Upshur County Schools, hope this event will lead to a complete fitness weekend.
“The triathlon is the perfect stepping stone — everyone can do one of those three things,” McCourt said. “In fact, we’re actually going to have a team division as well, so three people — one person bikes, one person swims and one person runs. Everyone can get out and walk on the trails or enjoy the pool or bike, so that’s why we chose a triathlon.”
People can sign up at the Upshur County Rec Desk portal here.
“You have to create an account first and then the triathlon is under the programs section, where you can sign up and pay the fee,” McCourt said. “We decided that up until the week before, you’ll get an early bird discount, so the individual will be $40 and the team would be $60. And then that last week, or the day of the race, an individual would be $50 and the team would be $75.”
Jett said they are hoping to have around 40 participants and the fees will act as a fundraiser for the Recreational Complex.
“We are probably going to cap it at about 40 and run it in two heats at a time — do 20 and then an hour later do another 20,” Jett said. “One of the reasons we’re going to do this is simply because we’re trying to increase attendance and awareness for the parks, but also provide opportunities for members of the community to use them and be more aware of what we have available.”
The funds will be used for upgrades throughout the rec complex.
“We’re going to split it based on where we need it,” Jett said. “For example, Jeremiah is trying to add some stuff to the park system, specifically a couple more frisbee golf goals, so we might use some of the funds there. We might use some of the funds in the field houses to get some new equipment. It’s just about where we have needs, and we will discuss that based on what we feel the greatest need is.”
McCourt said they have also been working on getting the tennis courts resurfaced to make them usable again.
“We are in talks with a few different companies about resurfacing,” McCourt said. “They need some love. We are trying to see if both top and the lower courts can be salvaged. I’m looking at multi-sport surfaces, so tennis and potentially something like pickleball could be played. We’re just trying to get more than one use out of the courts.”
McCourt said the 2022 summer pool season has been going well and the new Rec Desk system has made it easier than ever to schedule programs and rentals.
“We have had an extremely successful year so far,” he said. “With Rec Desk, people don’t have to call and ask how to reserve the pool for pool parties, they can sign up for both group and private swim lessons, they can rent the pavilion, they can do all sorts of things. It’s extremely exciting. We’ve just started to figure out what this program can do, and it’s going to be great for us.”