By Tony Gorman
For the Star 

High 5 Triathlon changed course in 2013

CVT event met challenges with weather, construction


Tony Gorman photo

A father/son team prepare to relay from the bike race to the running portion of Saturday’s CVT High 5 Triathlon.

The weather was typical, but the construction site wasn’t. The rain poured down in on Saturday at the start of the Copper Valley Telecom High 5 Triathlon. That was not surprise for over 50 races that competed in the event; the biggest change in this year’s event was the construction site next to it.

The new Gilson Middle School project altered the traditional course of the triathlon. Event organizer Joanne Winney said the construction crew was very cooperative in helping her plan the annual Gold Rush Days event.

“I worked with the foreman of the construction group. They were fine with having the triathlon,” Winney said. “They were great. They had to keep moving to get their job done. They worked well with us. With all the volunteers we had with us, it was an awesome day.”

In the past, the race was based in the parking lot of Gilson Middle School but because of the construction it was based next door in the parking area for Valdez High School. What did not change was the challenges faced by entrants, which included individual racers and relay teams; each had to swim 11 laps in the pool, then bike to and from the Duck Flats, run to and from Mineral Creek via Hanagita Street, and return to the high school parking lot.

Team Mark and Aaron competed in the first of four heats. The duo was the first to finish the race said they enjoyed racing the course despite all the obstacles.

“I think it made the run slightly longer,” said Aaron Brown, who competed in the biking and running legs of the race. “The rain made things slippery for the bike, but still a great event.”

His teammate, Mark O’Brien competed in the swimming portion of the race. He said he felt good after competing in the triathlon.

“Everyone is so supportive. It was great,” said O’Brien, who recently moved to Valdez from Minneapolis.

Tony Gorman photo

Middle School construction on River Dr. presented a different kind of barrier than triathlon participants usually see.


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