Triathlon Across the USA: State #50 – West Virginia

Parsons, West Virginia; May 20, 2023 – PVFD Cheat River Triathlon, Mill Race Park.

The West Virginia triathlon was the final one in the Triathlon Across the USA adventure that began over a decade ago. Our children, Jon, Liza, and Ben, joined Joy and me for this road trip. The warmth of the people and beauty of the landscape of West Virginia made this special time even more memorable.

A Family Road Trip to West Virginia for a Triathlon

Joy and I left our home in The Villages, Florida on Thursday at a little after 7 am. Three hybrid bikes hung on the bike rack, secured to the hitch of our Chrysler Pacifica. We would use the bikes on the mixed paved and gravel trail we would ride during the West Virginia triathlon.

Our destination for today was a hotel near the airport in Charlotte, North Carolina. Our three children would meet us in Charlotte, one on Thursday evening and two on Friday morning.

Fortunately, all flights were on time. Actually, the one on Friday morning was about twenty minutes early, which allowed us to start our journey to West Virginia a little earlier than planned.

By 11 am, we were on our way with the five of us snugly packed in our van with triathlon gear for three of us. Joy and I had additional luggage, golf clubs, and other items for the two months we would be in the north central part of the country,

As we drove, we remembered earlier road trips. Our best recollection was that this was the first road trip together as a family since 1985.

Our destination for this evening was Elkins, West Virginia, a 30-minute drive from Parsons. Along the way, we made an intermediate stop at the New River Gorge Bridge. According to the US National Park Service, it is “the longest single-span steel arch bridge in the United States”.

3rd Annual Parsons VFD Cheat River Triathlon

The race, a fundraiser for the Parsons Volunteer Fire Department (VFD), began at 10 am on Saturday. Advertised distances for the individual legs of the sprint triathlon in which we competed were:

  • Run: 3.9 miles (6.3 km)
  • Kayak: 3+ miles (4.8+ km)
  • Bike: 7 miles (11.3 km)

A Special Race Morning

We left the hotel at a little after 8 am to allow time for check-in and packet pickup, setup of our transition areas, and some pre-race stretching.

We arrived at Mill Race Park in Parsons, West Virginia, after a leisurely 30-minute drive. Mill Race Park is where the triathlon would begin and end.

From the moment I started walking to the packet pickup area, I knew something was up. I could see people looking and whispering. There was also a reporter from a local TV station. As we walked to pickup our race packet, I saw a banner recognizing this 50th state milestone prepared from pictures used in other posts.

We picked up our timing chip, t-shirt, and mandatory whistle for the kayak leg. During the pre-race meeting, we learned that, according to West Virginia law, anyone on the water is required to carry a whistle. The fine for violating this law is $50.

Pre-race Meeting for the West Virginia Triathlon

During the pre-race meeting, Fire Chief Kevin White welcomed the participants and described the race course. He warned of the possibility of some loose material on the bike path, despite it having been swept the previous day. He also told participants about a couple of places on the Cheat River of which to be careful. In particular, he mentioned a tree downed in the river. His advice was ‘keep left’.

Chief White then welcomed a ‘celebrity’, which turned out to be me. He told everyone about this being my triathlon in the 50th state. Then, he called me to the front where he presented a special plague prepared by the VFD to recognize the occasion.

After the pre-race meeting, the reporter, Tanner Gilmartin, asked to record my answers to a few questions. Sections of the interview would later appear on the WDTV evening news.

After a quick stretch, it was race time. Kevin counted down, after which all racers took off on the run leg.

pictures from before the 2023 Cheat River Triathlon in Parsons, West Virginia
Before the Cheat River Triathlon, (upper left) I posed with the banner prepared by our children, (lower left) Chief Kevin White presented a plague commemorating West Virginia being the 50th state in Triathlon Across the USA, (upper right) closeup of the PVFD plaque, and (lower right) Tanner Gilmartin interviewed me for a spot on the WDTV evening news.


Liza, Ben, and I positioned ourselves at the back of the pack before the beginning of the triathlon. We crossed the starting line last and ran together at a pace I had planned for the first mile. My goal was to avoid starting too fast, something I had learned in a reverse triathlon (run-bike-swim) done in New Mexico.

It was quickly apparent that we were racing against fast runners. The distance between us and the person ahead of us grew each moment. When I reached the end of the run, all other runners were on the kayak or, for those who were part of a relay team, walking or jogging back to Mill Race Park.

Scenes from the Parsons VFD Cheat River Triathlon courtesy of my daughter Liza.
Left: While on the tree-lined run course, we got a hint of what we would face on the kayak.
Center: A view from the kayak while entering one of the most tame rapids.
Right: The bike leg was on a well maintained, mostly paved, path used earlier for the run.


For reference, I have kayaked many times. However, my previous experience was with a closed kayak on a lake. I seldom went out when there was more than a light wind and small waves. Today, I would learn about kayaking on a river with rapids.

Upon reaching the water, a volunteer told me to ‘pick one of the green kayaks’. They were apparently lighter weight than others. I found one with easy access to the water, dragged it to the edge of the river, and put on my helmet and life vest.

As I climbed onto the open kayak, I recalled an earlier conversation about the kayak leg with a couple of guys from the area. Admittedly, I was a little concerned about kayaking going into this race, not knowing what to expect. I remembered them mentioning ‘some rapids’.

During that conversation, I had asked them if they were going to wear their running shoes on the kayak. While they were especially kind, the look in their eyes betrayed them. Of course, they were going to wear shoes. I’m sure they thought I was crazy.

From their comments, we jettisoned the two-gallon plastic ziplock bags Liza had packed for us to keep our shoes dry during the kayak leg.

Kayaking on the Cheat River . . .

I was not ready to get my shoes wet at the beginning of the kayak, just in case it was not necessary. I pushed the kayak into the water as far as I could while being able to get into it without walking into the water. To get the kayak into the water so I could start paddling, I used a rocking motion. This eventually worked but took too much time.

I made it through the first rapids, though my kayak was full of water when I reached the other side. I tried for a few moments to bail water with my hands, but realized this was a waste of time.

At the next small rapids, I headed for a slightly calmer area, one through the center. As I would quickly learn, this was not a good choice. I soon felt the bottom of the kayak scraping on rocks, eventually stopping. I tried rocking the kayak as I had to get off the bank at the beginning, but was stuck.

My shoes would not be dry for several days after this point. I got out of the kayak, pulled it past the shallow area, ever careful not to fall. While I was there, I emptied the water from the kayak.

Once I reached the other side of these rapids, two guys who had watched this fiasco from the shore told me to ‘stay to the right’. The current was apparently stronger on that side. (The only advice I had previously heard was to stay to the left near the end of the course, where the tree lay in the water.) I followed their advice, mostly. The time I didn’t follow it was the next time I got stuck.

. . . With Real Rapids

As I was dragging my kayak off the rocks to the right, where the current was indeed stronger, Liza and Ben caught up to me. I learned that Ben had capsized while going through the first rapids, losing the hat Liza had loaned him.

From hereon, the three of us traveled the river at the same pace. Now, I was trying to figure out how to read the water to find the fastest route.

We finally reached the point where the tree lay on the right bank. The water was far more active than we had previously seen. We would eventually pass through what I saw as ‘massive’, two foot high waves.

As I started into the most turbulent section, a mix of thoughts ran through my head. The ones I now remember were “keep paddling to keep the kayak straight”, “here’s what I am going to do when I capsize”, and “I wonder how many more of these I have to go through”.

Thankfully, I made it to the other side in my kayak.

A short distance later, I saw two guys on the left shore motioning us to land. Since I thought we had further to go, I had stayed in the middle of river. To get to the exit, I tried, with minor success, to turn the kayak and paddle perpendicular to the current. It wasn’t long before I was stalled on shallow rocks again.

I pull my kayaked the rest of the way to shore, where my oldest son Jon shouted advice based on what he had seen others go through while exiting.

As soon as my helmet and life vest were off, I carefully (thanks to Jon’s coaching) climbed a set of rocks to reach the flat grassy area leading to the bike transition area.


After putting on my bike helmet and grabbing my bike, I headed out of the transition area and onto the bike course. The flat, out-and-back bike course was on the same path as we had run. This time, however, we turned around near the place we had earlier headed to the water.

As I relived the time on the water and realized I would complete this triathlon, I took more time than usual to enjoy the scenery. Today, this included a patch of beautiful blue and white irises, the river we had just ‘cheated’, and several impressive natural rock sculptures. A couple of roosters and several race volunteers stationed at each of the intersections faithfully cheered us on.

Liza, Ben, and I traveled more or less together, having decided we would finish together. I didn’t want this race to be remembered for the competition between the three of us. And I certainly did not want to be beaten by either or both of them.

crossing the finish line of the Parsons VFD Cheat River Triathlon in Parsons, West Virginia
Liza, Ben, and I crossed the finish line together. Biking was the third leg of the Parsons VFD Cheat River Triathlon and 50th state in which I crossed the finish line at a triathlon. Source: Appalachian Timing Group.

A Triathlon Axiom Confirmed in the West Virginia Triathlon

“Never try something for the first time on race day.” I learned this early in my triathlon journey. For as far as I can recall, I had been faithful to it. Except for today.

For this race, I knew I was going to violate this rule. I had never kayaked in a river. Before today, I didn’t even know about the rapids in the Cheat River.

Since there were no splits for the individual legs of the triathlon, I will never know how much time I lost in the kayak leg. However, my inexperience with kayaking in water like that of the Cheat River cost me a lot of time.

After the West Virginia Triathlon

There is one thing we do know. We would love to return to this region of West Virginia, possibly even this triathlon, in the future.

After enjoying snacks and drinks, we changed out of our wet clothing, repacked the van, and said our thanks and farewells to the kind people of West Virginia.

From Parsons, we drove to Blackwater Falls State Park, where we made the short walk to view the iconic falls and take a couple more family pictures.

While visiting Blackwater Falls, the skies opened. We cut short further sightseeing plans and began our trip to Missouri and Minnesota, where our three children live.

Joy and I would finish this trip after a couple of months visiting friends and family in Minnesota and South Dakota.

VanderWert family at Blackwater Falls State Park after the Parsons VFD Cheat River Triathlon in Parsons, West Virginia
After the West Virginia Triathlon, we visited Blackwater Falls State Park. On the way up from the viewing area, we stopped for one more family picture.

Race Firsts

  • First triathlon without a swim option. (My Indiana triathlon included kayaking as an option, but I chose the open water swim.)
  • The West Virginia triathlon was the first attended by all three of our children. (Liza did my first triathlon with me. Ben and Liza did another triathlon with me in Minnesota.)
  • First triathlon at which a television reporter interviewed me.

How About Kayaking at a Triathlon?

Have you done a triathlon with kayaking instead of swimming? How about another triathlon with sports other than swimming, biking, and running?

Please share your experience in the Comments below.

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Exploring the USA Through Triathlon

After completing my first triathlon in 2011, my wife, Joy, and I looked at each other and said, “Why not?”. Why not travel across the USA and complete a triathlon in each state?

I was hooked. On triathlon, that is.

At that moment, we joined our love for road trips with my interest in triathlon. We call this “Triathlon Across the USA”.

Triathlon Across the USA

In this quest, our goal has been for me to complete a triathlon in each of the 50 states of the USA. It has been more rewarding than we imagined.

This adventure has already taken us to many out-of-the-way parts of the United States. These are places we would probably never have visited. For example, many people who live in Oregon don’t know about Sweet Home. We have eaten, slept, and raced there.

These ‘race-cations’ have also provided opportunity to visit family and friends, several who have since passed away. We are grateful for the memories.

Through these travels, we have met people across the triathlon community with a connection to family members. We have met people hundreds of, even more than a thousand, miles from home who have friends or family near where we were living or have lived.

In one case, the race director of a triathlon in a southern state had run near our house while visiting in-laws in Minnesota. We also met a young lady in Alaska who was on our daughter-in-law’s high school swim team.

Encounters like this became commonplace.

Diverse Experiences With More To Come

We have learned a lot about this country. Through our travels, we have experienced differing terrains, altitudes, race courses, weather, race types, scenery, and, of course, food. We have learned to deal with the unexpected.

I have learned so much. There has been at least one new experience in each triathlon. I have listed these new experiences under the ‘Race Firsts’ heading near the end of each post.

On May 20, 2023, nearly twelve years after finishing my first triathlon, Joy, our three children, and I visited West Virginia for a triathlon in the 50th state. 

I am grateful to the Lord for giving me a supportive and fun wife, resources, and physical strength to complete this goal. We have enjoyed our travels around the beautiful USA.

We have met many incredible people, young and old, who share my love of triathlon. You will find some of their stories on this website under the Our Stories menu.

Terry & Joy VanderWert

The Villages, Florida

“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” 2 Corinthians 9:15

Finding a State in the “Triathlon Across the USA” Story

Below the picture you will find a list of the states in the USA. Click the link with the name of the state. The story about our time in it will appear.

completed Triathlon Across the USA goal on May 20, 2023
We completed our Triathlon Across the USA journey on May 20, 2023. The last race in this quest was the Parsons Volunteer Fire Department Cheat River Triathlon in Parsons, West Virginia.

Please note the region names and grouping of states below follow the standard used by the US Census Bureau. I didn’t just make them up.


States of the Northeast USA
Northeast USA


States of the Midwest USA
Midwest USA


States of the South USA
South USA


states of the Western USA
Western USA

What Is Your Favorite State for Triathlon?

I am often asked about my favorite state or favorite triathlon.

This question is difficult to answer. Each of our experiences has been so different and remarkable. That may not be your story.

What is your favorite state for triathlon?

Let us know in the Comments section below.

Comments: Please note that I review all comments before they are posted. You will be notified by email when your comment is approved. Even if you do not submit a comment, you may subscribe to be notified when a comment is published.

Combining Camping and Triathlon

Growing up, I had a full range of camping experiences. My parents, my siblings, and I started with a tent, graduated to a pop-up trailer, and then to a pull-behind trailer. Actually, we camped in several pull-behind trailers, each longer than the previous one. I was fortunate to experience a lot of the USA during my youth in this way.

However, somewhere along the way, I fell out of love with camping. After marriage, Joy and I tried tent camping and camping from a conversion van with varying degrees of success. Allergies to tree pollen and almost guaranteed rain made camping a hit-or-miss experience.

But, I never gave up on camping completely.

Now, as I begin this post, I am sitting outside our rented RV in a KOA campground in northern Utah. It is 81°F with a light breeze blowing down the slopes of the Wasatch Mountains just to my east. Meanwhile, Joy, who came up with the idea for this latest run at camping, is sitting in the air-conditioned motor home.

Our Experiences Camping With a Triathlon

The idea of camping at or near the triathlon venue has been appealing. This was especially true if it meant less travel the day before and the day of the triathlon. Even without this benefit, camping meant being able to eat more ‘home cooked’ meals.

We had planned to tent camp at Lewis Creek County Park before the Best in the West Triathlon Festival outside Sweet Home, Oregon. However, as I reported in the post about this triathlon, we abandoned this idea because of the high temperature in early September.

Three years later, during our six-week road trip through the southeast part of the USA, we did camp using a tent.

Not surprisingly, it rained during the two-night stay at our first destination, outside Logan, Ohio, where I did my Ohio triathlon. To be fair, we followed this with two lovely nights of camping in Kentucky. Okay, it doesn’t always rain when we camp.

However, given the high temperatures in late September and early October further south, we left the tent in our van for the rest of that trip.

Our tent at the KOA Campgrounds outside Logan, Ohio, location of the Hocking Hills Sprint Triathlon. Our tent included two blow-up beds, a fan, and Joy’s special toilet, complete with a ‘Dora the Explorer’ seat. Let us know in the Comments below if you want more details. Joy will be happy to share these.

A Newer Experience – Motorhome Camping at a Triathlon

Our latest adventure of camping around a triathlon occurred last summer. This time, we rented a 24 foot Class C motorhome from a private party in Logan, Utah. For two weeks, the motorhome was our home.

From Logan, we drove to Truckee, California, for the Donner Lake Triathlon. It was at this triathlon that we stayed (for free) in a grassy parking area within a hundred yards of the transition area for the race. We both really enjoyed this.

After the race, we drove back to southeastern Idaho for the Preston Triathlon and Seeley Lake, Montana for the Seeley Lake Triathlon. You can read more about our camping adventures in the posts for these two triathlons.

What We Have Learned About Camping and Triathlon

Here are three things we have learned in our efforts to combine racing in a triathlon and camping.

1. Camping at the location of the race is convenient

While I have not polled the group, I am sure that triathletes are mostly early risers. I am an early riser; my wife, not so much.

Rising, checking out of the hotel, and driving to the race location, all in the dark, is what we do. And, it is the cross my wife willingly and cheerfully bears for being married to a triathlete.

It was incredibly convenient to awake on race day at the race venue. After setting up my transition area, I went back to the motorhome and enjoyed a protein smoothie and coffee while counting down the time for the race to begin. Meanwhile, Joy slept.

After waking, she watched through the back window of the motorhome while lying comfortably in bed as we completed the swim leg of our triathlon.

Camping at West End Beach in Truckee, California, in a rented RV. Joy watched the swim leg of the Donner Lake Triathlon from the comfort of our bed while peering out the back window of the motorhome. She was a ‘happy camper’.

2. You won’t necessarily save money

We paid for the tent through savings in the cost of hotel rooms while traveling to compete in the Ohio triathlon. The story is much different for the motorhome.

Motorhome camping is clearly more comfortable than tent camping. With air-conditioning, we slept well in the motorhome no matter the outside temperature. Since arriving well rested on race day is important, this is a plus.

There is also the benefit of eating food that we prepare. This is both more healthy and less costly. The gas stove and refrigerator in the motorhome made this convenient.

On the other hand, motorhome camping is expensive. The unit we rented averaged nine miles per gallon (mpg) compared to 25-30 mpg for our van. This was when gasoline was $5 to over $6 per gallon.

Add to the cost of the additional fuel, the costs of renting the unit, and parking it at campgrounds with electricity and water hookups, and we spent $250 to $300 per day for the convenience of a motorhome.

3. Camping leads to a new triathlon experience

Even though most triathlons do not offer an option of camping at the race venue, there are still wonderful benefits of camping nearby. It is a treat to be outdoors, exploring new areas of nature with its diverse fragrances, sounds, plants, birds, and other animals.

Once we get away from the city lights, it is wonderful how vast the night sky appears.

Camping along with a triathlon is another way to see God’s handiwork up close. I took this picture from Salmon Lake State Park (Seeley Lake, Montana), where we camped three nights before the Montana triathlon.

You Might Want to Try Camping and Triathlon

The more I travel, the less appealing hotels become.

As you plan your races for this season, you may want to think about camping at or near the race venue. Clearly, there are benefits.

Contact the race director to see what options for camping exist, especially for races held in city or county parks.

Have You Combined Camping and Triathlon?

Have you camped at the triathlon venue before the race? What has been your experience with camping while traveling for a triathlon?

Please share your thoughts and experiences with us in the Comments section below.

Comments: Please note that I review all comments before they are posted. You will be notified by email when your comment is approved. Even if you do not submit a comment, you may subscribe to be notified when a comment is published.

Triathlon Across the USA: State #48 – Idaho

Preston, Idaho; July 30, 2022 – Preston Biathlon, Triathlon and Fun Run; Preston Aquatic Center.

Our Idaho triathlon represented the many triathlons in smaller communities across this country, which are managed and supported by local businesses to benefit local causes.

The Preston Triathlon was also the second of three triathlons in northwestern states during late July and early August. I completed the Donner Lake Triathlon outside Truckee, California, the previous weekend. The following weekend, we would be in Seeley Lake, Montana.

Before the Idaho Triathlon

A few days before the Idaho triathlon, we met up with our friends Steve and Lori at the Cub River Campground outside Preston. We camped in a rented Class C motorhome while our friends used theirs.

Before the Idaho triathlon, we camped at the Cub River Campground outside Preston.
On the three days before the Idaho triathlon in Preston, we camped in our rented RV at the Cub River Campground outside Preston.

On Friday afternoon, we drove the 13 miles from our RV park into Preston. We went for two purposes. First, and probably expected, was to pickup my race packet.

The second reason, to complete the triathlon swim, is one you probably did not expect. Completing the swim on the day before the bike and run legs of the triathlon was a first.

A Vibrant Community

Between the swim and packet pickup, we checked out this rural community of just over 5,000 residents.

With Preston abuzz with the excitement of Rodeo Days and the nightly parades, we found the main street lined with people shopping at the outdoor displays of local shops and sampling the treats of street vendors.

While in Preston, we also stopped for groceries. The family-owned grocery store at which we shopped impressed us with their range of products and prices. The big corporate stores in larger cities have nothing on this local store.

Sadly, many towns the size of Preston have shriveled and died over my lifetime. Joy and I spent our early years, until high school graduation, in a small town in Minnesota. We remember when towns like our hometown were as vibrant as Preston.

10th (Maybe More) Annual Biathlon and Triathlon

The Preston Triathlon is one of several running and multisport events managed by Groll Family Fitness Center (Preston, Idaho). The center offers many services, including personal training, weight loss coaching, strength training, and group classes in aerobics and yoga.

According to Chris and Jeannine Groll, this event began as a biathlon (bike-run) event “ten, maybe twelve years ago”.

Since there was not a facility for swimming in Preston in the early years, it was impossible to hold a triathlon. However, that changed three years ago with the opening of the Preston Aquatic Center and its lap pool.

Today, the Preston event includes a sprint triathlon, biathlon (bike-run involving the distances of the triathlon), and 1 mile and 5 km ‘fun runs’.

The advertised distances for the individual legs of the sprint triathlon in which I competed were:

  • Swim: 500 yards (457 meters) – Actual: 500 yards (457 meters)
  • Bike: 14 miles (22.5 km) – Actual: 14.1 miles (22.6 km)
  • Run: 5 km (3.1 miles) – Actual: 4.8 km (3 miles)

Actual distances shown above are from my Garmin Forerunner 920XT.

“Every Child A Swimmer”

The Preston biathlon, triathlon, and running event doubled as a fundraiser for the Preston Aquatic Center (PAC). Funds from this race support the “Every Child A Swimmer” scholarship fund for underprivileged children who want to learn to swim but whose parents cannot afford lessons.

One staff member of PAC told me, “I grew up in California and learned to swim when I was old enough to walk. I want every child who wants to learn to swim to have the opportunity.”

This is an example of causes supported by local triathlons and other multisport and running events.


With only two lanes in the PAC pool, competitors swam the 500 yards on Friday (my choice) or early on Saturday, before the start of the triathlon and biathlon. Each triathlete brought someone, in my case Steve, to count their laps, record their swim time, and report the time to a PAC staff member.

The swim for the Preston Idaho triathlon was in the pool of the Preston Aquatic Center
The swim leg of the triathlon took place in the pool at the Preston Aquatic Center.


For Saturday’s bike and run legs for the triathlon and biathlon, race organizers converted the parking lot behind the Preston Aquatic Center into the transition area. Just before the race began, all competitors mounted their bike inside the transition area.

Following a ten-second countdown, we all left the transition. Our race officially began as we rode over the timing mat.

This race used a unique method for capturing our times as we crossed the timing mat. Typically, a timing chip is on a velcro strap attached to our left ankle. Some running races use a race number bib with the timing chip embedded in it.

For this race, the organizer gave each of us two plastic-encapsulated metal foils. We pinned one each on the left and right sides of our race number belt or shorts.

Timing for this race used a plastic enclosed metal foil pinned to the race number belt on each side of our waist.

The bike course left the transition area using the alley behind the aquatic center. Upon reaching the street, volunteers directed us to turn left (east) onto Oneida Street.

A Ride in the Country

We followed the road out of Preston into the country with its rolling hills. The many volunteers made it easy for us to follow the course and its many turns. Because of this, we could enjoy the sights and smells of this gorgeous farmland.

Most of the ride was between hayfields interrupted only by the occasional small farm, many containing a mix of dairy and beef cows, goats, and horses.

We witnessed hay in various stages of maturity – from being irrigated to help its growth to that already cut and being raked to speed up its drying. At one point, the spray from the irrigation rig crossed the road. The mist felt good.

Throughout the bike leg, we rode in traffic with cars and trucks. There was also the occasional farming implement we encountered during the ride. This triathlon was the first in which I met a tractor pulling a hay rake, one wide enough to leave only six to eight feet for me to pass between it and the edge of the road.

Despite the plentiful traffic, I found the drivers to be considerate. At no time did I feel unsafe.

Following a rectangular loop at the midway part of the course, we soon reconnected with Oneida Street, meeting some of the apparent late-comers to the biathlon and triathlon. As we returned to the eastern edge of Preston, we saw those taking part in the 5 km fun run. They were on the course I would be in a few minutes.


The flat run course followed part of the bike course on streets leading to the eastern edge of Preston. As with the bike course, we left the transition area through the alley onto Oneida Street.

Near the edge of town, we turned left to follow a rectangular path that included three left turns. Upon reaching Oneida Street near the post office, we turned right and returned to the finish line.

The run left the transition area located behind the Preston Aquatic Center through the alley leading to East Oneida Street.

After the Idaho Triathlon

After the Preston Triathlon, Joy and I traveled with our friends Steve and Lori in our two motorhomes toward our next destination, Montana, for the Seeley Lake Triathlon.

The trip to our first stop, Dillon, Montana, initially took us past the bright green alfalfa fields around Preston. These soon gave way to bright yellow fields of canola (rapeseed) then to massive fields of potatoes with their vibrant purple flowers.

A short stretch of lava fields reminiscent of the big island of Hawaii led to more potatoes and corn. It wasn’t long before we were driving past grassy areas with grazing cattle.

We soon reached our destination for the next two nights, the Southside RV Park in Dillon. Our campsite, next to a small river, was the perfect spot from which to watch the life of an osprey family – dad, mom, and two young ones.

Race Firsts

  • First time doing the swim leg on the day before the bike and run legs.
  • First time using a method of timing with metal flags, one pinned to each side.
  • Being sprinkled by an irrigation system used to water a hay field was a first.

What Size Triathlon Do You Prefer?

Triathlons with many competitors are exciting. Often, we see others with whom we have raced before. On the other hand, small races are more intimate and often support important local causes.

Which do you prefer? (There is no wrong answer.)

Share your thoughts in the Comments below.


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