By Bob Keith
The 2018 Olympiad set participation records, which is one of our key objectives, in all events except one. The opening of the weekend brought us hilarious “Box Boat Races” for the first time and also offered an emotional tribute to Andy Scriven, a race car designer and annual Olympiad cyclist, who lost his life in a truck vs bike accident late last year. His wife and family honored us with their presence. Friday evening’s torrential rain could not wash the smiles off the runners’ faces in the 10K as 184 athletes “Slammed the Dam”. Next day, on a beautiful Saturday morning in Lake Lure after the cleansing storm, close to record times were set in the Triathlon. Junior athletes had the usual fun and competitive spirit. And on Sunday, despite a last minute forced change in the location of the finish line for the run and bike races, 205 athletes made their way from Chimney Rock Village to the Haynes Hill Estate that overlooks Lake Lure and up the scenic Hickory Nut Gorge. Let’s review the highlights of this year’s Olympiad through some photos (Photo Credit to Buddy Morrison Photography):
Box Boat racing was new this year. Pictured is the box boat construction team of Mary Jaeger-Gale and her husband Admiral Steve Gale along with navigator/pilot Cindy Jaeger and boat designer Pat Jaeger. The nautical team had an hour to build the SS Minnow
Boat designer Pat Jaeger looks on as his wife frantically attempts to keep SS Minnow afloat. Which proves the adage: You can make a boat. The question is, will it float. Fun was had by all.
After a race start at Ingles in a severe downpour, Melanie Rodriguez from Marion celbrates the sunshine with a smile and outstretched arms as she crosses the dam approximately 2 miles into the race.
After only 3/10th of a mile from the start line in Chimney Rock, Anthony Famiglietti leads a field of 205 runners in the 5K (3.1miles) and finished the race in an amazing 16:10. Anthony is a two time Olympian Steeplechase athlete who is training to be the third person in the world to run a 4 minute mile after the age of 40. We are pleased and proud to have Anthony run with us each year.
As runners and cyclists crossed the finish line, they were treated to food and drink prepared by the Chimney Rock Auxiliary, hot dogs cooked by Mayor Kevin Cooley and experienced the beautiful views looking up Hickory Nut Gorge from Haynes Hill Estate, the home of George and Hope Wittmer.
Shown are the athletes who achieved “three races in three days”. 56 accomplished this grueling effort this year, the largest number since we established this challenge.