BUCKHANNON – Athletes of all stripes are invited to compete in two separate events occurring on the same Saturday in August.
Runners, swimmers, bikers and Strongman competitors are invited to compete in either a triathlon or a Strongman contest at the Upshur County Recreational Park Saturday, Aug. 12.
Upshur County Parks and Recreation Director Jeremiah McCourt said the triathlon will return, and the Lift Strongman contest will make its first appearance that day. Both events will have a rules meeting at 8 a.m. in the B-UHS Fieldhouse, and then the triathlon will commence at 9 a.m., while the first-ever Lift the Jolly Roger Strongman contest will begin at 10 a.m.
Registration for the triathlon may be found on the Upshur County Rec Desk Page under programs.
The triathlon will consist of a 500-meter swim at the Upshur County Recreational Park Pool; an approximately 12-mile bike ride from the park to the Event Center at Brushy Fork and back to the park; and a 5K run at the park. The Strongman contest will feature a Farmer’s Walk, Press Medley, Stone Over Bar, Braemar Shot Put and an Axle Deadlift.
McCourt said the triathlon was reintroduced to the park last year, and he plans to have plenty of returning competitors.
“We had about 18 participants [in 2022], but everyone that completed it just loved it. They loved the course, and it was easy to get the swim in, especially with the 50-meter pool, it was very few turns, so they enjoyed that,” McCourt said.
“They liked the bike path – it wasn’t a hard bike, but it was challenging enough, and it evened out the field, and then everyone loved that there weren’t 18 laps around the track,” he added. “Instead, it was one big loop, and it was on multiple surfaces — grass, asphalt, and then we finish it on the track with one lap.”
There is also a Team Division for the triathlon for athletes who prefer only to do one leg of the race.
“If someone is concerned or doesn’t want to do the whole thing, we have the Team Division as well, so you can have three people; one person swims, one person bikes, one person runs, and then if we get enough interest, we might even do a Splash and Dash, which is just the swim and a bike or a swim and a run,” McCourt said. “I’m always open to what people are interested in, and as long as it’s something we can logistically accomplish, I want to try it.”
This will be the first year for the Lift the Jolly Roger Strongman contest, but it’s a sport with which McCourt is already familiar.
“I wanted to bring it this year because of my background in strength, sports and love for those niche elements of Strongman,” McCourt said. “I also wanted to bring something new and a little different to Upshur County. Next year, I want to tie in a CrossFit event in as well.”
More information about the Lift the Jolly Roger Strongman contest events and registration may be found here.
The park will also be busy this weekend, July 13-15, with the Summer Basketball League’s championship this Thursday (weather pending) and the NCWV Swim Championships this Friday and Saturday. The championships will cause the pool to be closed for public swim from July 13-15, opening back up July 16.