A few weeks ago, a group of friends and I celebrated a 60th birthday in a lovely cabin in Claytor Lake State Park.  As we were out exercising that first morning, we happened upon the Claytor Lake Triathlon.  Started in 2011, the planners of the event wanted to hold a triathlon on the open water, as opposed to a swimming pool, and in an suburban environment, away from urban traffic.  156 competitors, including those in the relay, participated in the 2016 Triathlon.


We were so inspired as we watched individuals of both genders, all ages, and various abilities swim, bike, and run to the finish.



The hardcore athletes were easy to pick out, but it was the “regular folk” who moved us to tears.

The Triathon includes a 500 meter swim

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A 12.5 mile bike


and a 5K Run


I’ve never photographed a sporting event before, but I could not put my camera down.  In between cheering for the competitors, and wiping my tearful eyes,  I just had to keep shooting.


What an awesome support team for Dad!


Some competitors accomplished all three portions by themselves.


Others competed in a team relay, and either swam, rode, or ran.

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What a thrill to watch, and what an accomplishment for these competitors.

Maybe I’ll give it a try next year 🙂

34 thoughts on “Triathlon

  1. Wonderful images Laurie 🙂 I especially love dad’s cheerleading team. I can’t believe with your busy schedule you would even consider doing a triathlon. I wouldn’t make it past the Tri portion, LOL.

    • Those Dad shots were some of my favorite from the day. In terms of doing a Tri … I could manage the biking and the running (walking), but the swimming? They’d have to come fish me out OR the event would be long over by the time I got to shore.

  2. I have had a few friends who have competed in triathlons. What an accomplishment. I love the photo of the guy running in his bare feet with his bike shoes still attached to his pedals. All great shots!

    • We were so amazed at the guys who just jumped out of their shoes! Clearly, those were the elite athletes. It really was an inspiring thing. To think of the work, the sacrifice, the physical effort. Not sure I could do it, but they sure inspired me to THINK I might be able to at least finish one.

  3. Great photos and a wonderful goal. At 68, it’s an Olympic event to get out of the recliner for another cuppa. I look at that and think, “I should get in better shape”. Then I turn the heat on in the recliner’s back. Maybe tomorrow. 🙂

  4. While I like to think I could offer my services as part of a team – it would need to be the swimming bit, and only if you can float it and take as long as required – it’s more realistic to say I’m up for being part of the cheer team – maybe the water person at varying intervals, or the sign waver perhaps. If those positions are already filled I will just have to settle for the position of long distance positivity support 🙂 ❤ GO LAURIE!! ❤

  5. The fact that you finished this post by saying maybe next year you would like to try it, confirms to me what I’ve always suspected – triathlon is contagious. You attend a tri of any distance and sooner or later you start thinking it is doable and just maybe ….

    Yes – “inspiring” doesn’t even begin to cover it! In my first year of competing, I was in a race with a young guy who had cerebral palsy. I don’t know how he did the swim, and he had a special bike for the cycling portion, but it was when he got to the 5 km run that my jaw dropped. He did the entire run course on crutches. When he reached the finish line, the cheering was deafening. I was in tears … and I wasn’t the only one.

    • Joanne, that is quite the story and truly inspirational! I can just imagine those cheers and those tears. Wow
      I thought you’d participated in Triathlons before. You are quite the woman!

  6. It still looks so pleasant down your way. People are wearing shorts and everythiing is green. It’s turned cold here and it’s been snowing for two days. GAH! Maybe the farmers almanac is right. It’s to be a long, cold winter.

    • Hey sweetie, I’ll hope for your sake that those Farmers are wrong. It was a beautiful but cool during my morning run today. Definitely fall and 30 degrees cooler than that weekend on the lake 6 weeks ago.
      Just remember: the guest room is ALWAYS open! XO

  7. I love this set of photos, Laurie. You’ve really captured the energy and the mood. I used to run 10Ks with friends in my thirties, but I eventually gave it up due to recurring migraines and an ancient neck injury. I was the point person for my friend Antonina when she did her first triathlon. It was a flurry of activity, then waiting, then another flurry of activity and so on. I admire anyone that takes on this challenge.

    You’re great at photographing people! You’re amazing.

    • I love that you were a point person. I’ve had two friends recently who have worked events rather than participating in them, and I’m really wanting to do that now. What a way to help someone else and be inspired in the process!
      I’m really trying to be careful with running. I’ve been very lucky to not have any musculoskeletal problems (ie knees, hips, back, etc) and I want to keep it that way.
      THanks for the comment about the “people photos”. I wasn’t sure …
      Be in touch soon!

  8. That. They really give us feel for what you saw. As for you competing next year, you do and I will be there cheering you on. That is, if I haven’t left the country! 🙂

  9. I’ve only been to one Triathlon, and I was in awe. Hundreds of people at Half Moon Bay in California, swimming in the ocean, out and back. Then, gasping for breath, they pulled off their wetsuit, sopped off, threw on a T-shirt and shorts and changed their shoes, climbed onto the bike and began pedaling. When the cyclists returned, many were caked in mud from falls, because they were wet from the sea and the dirt stuck to them. They pulled back up to the bike racks, used the sea-wet towel and brushed off most the mud, changed their shoes AGAIN, and took off out onto the sand, running. I was flabbergasted that they just kept changing their clothes and heading into the next set. THey were clearly wiped out from the swimming, why not stop there and call it good? ha ha. I have been in awe of Triathletes ever since.

  10. Love your post and these photos !! You can DEFINITELY do a tri ! The sport is filled with athletes that never thought they could do it, but are inspired by seeing others do it and hearing their stories . Good luck 🙂

Because Boomdee dared me: Lay a little sugar on me :-)

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