The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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August 13, 2012

Brady wins women’s triathlon

Williams men’s champ again at Williamson memorial

DANIELS — No wrong turns this time for Carly Brady.

The Marshall University medical student kept her bicycle on the straight and narrow Sunday, and was the women’s champion of the sixth annual Charlie Williamson Memorial Triathlon at The Resort at Glade Springs.

“Last year was my first triathlon here, and I got turned around and went the wrong way,” Brady said. “I finished, but it was all weird on the time.”

Brady survived the first event, a 750-meter swim in Chatham lake, then caught most of the pack in the 13-mile bicycle race.

Then she burned through the 3.11-mile run for the win.

“The swim was horrible. I don’t swim well,” Brady said. “I was very alert to make sure I didn’t miss any turns on the bike race. I was always trying to catch the person ahead of me. That kept me going at a good pace.”

Midway through the run, she thought she was out of contention. Then another competitor told her “first place is about a mile away.”

Brady decided to reach deep.

“I thought ‘What the heck? I might as well go for it,’” she said. “‘I’ll be one in four minutes anyway, so what’s a little bit more.”

She finished in a time of 1:27:50, tops among the women and 15th best overall.

It was only her third triathlon. Running is her thing.

“I am a runner, through and through,” she said. “I do a lot of runs. I don’t win a lot, but it’s mostly the way I stay sane while I’m in medical school.”

Krystie Bailey of Glenville was second, concluding the course in a time of 1:29:03, followed by Elkview’s Sarah Fletcher (1:29:05) and defending champion Monette Williams from Durham, N.C. (1:29:15).

Williams was actually happy with the fourth-place finish. Not that long ago it looked like her triathlon days were over.

“I have small fractures in my back that are healing. My leg was going to sleep in December, so I had to take some time off,” she said. “Considering they thought I would never race again, and that I just got cleared for the race, I was really excited.”

The swim and biking went well for Williams, but the running was tough.

“That was probably the hardest part, since I haven’t been able to run the past few months,” she said. “The lake was gorgeous — I love swimming in this lake — and the bike, well, at least it’s pretty, so it makes up for the hills.

“If I can, I will be back in the triathlon next year.”

n For Williams’ husband, Dave, it was just another day at the office.

Williams finished nearly 4 1/2 minutes faster than his competition to win his fifth Williamson Memorial title in six attempts. He was second in the first triathlon, in 2007.]

A sports trainer by profession, Williams was third after the swimming competition, but quickly made up ground to conclude in a time of 1:08:45.

“I swam in college, but my biking is probably better,” Williams said. “The swimming was great. There were a couple of fast, young, guys out there, and I tried to keep them in my sights.”

He poured it on in the bike race.

“I thought I was second, so I was hammering away, trying to catch the person in front of me. But I’d actually passed him early on, so it helped me out.

“The first two miles of the run hurt, but the last mile was downhill, and I ran as hard as I could.”

Williams, who says he races for fun but is a coach full-time, will compete next week in the national triathlon championship in Vermont.

Andrew Cochran of Morgantown took second place (1:13:03), followed by Emmett Dignan of Mystic, Conn., (1:14:17) and Mark Keaveney of Marietta, Ga., (1:18:03).

“Dave is a hard guy to catch. I don’t think anyone will ever catch him,” Cochran said. “But he’s a good guy. He helps everyone out, and we learn from him every time.”

Cochran, a physical therapist at a Morgantown middle school, was seventh after the swim, but bore down in the remaining two events.

“The swim was bad for me. I just tried to hang on and catch some guys with the bike,” he said. “That’s where I do the best.

“On runs, I try to grin and bear it, and hold on, seeing how far my legs will take me. I try to be the last to slow down.”

Dignan, a Virginia Tech junior, was second to Keaveney after the swim.

“The lake was perfect,” Dignan said. “I swim for Tech, so it’s my favorite part. I couldn’t ask for a better lake.”

He was strong in biking, and endured the run.

“That was the longest three miles of my life,” Dignan said. “But I made it through. It was nice and shaded, so it wasn’t so bad at all.

“I’m definitely coming back next year and bringing all my friends.”

n Event organizer Dr. E.J. Salon was probably the happiest person at Glade.

“We had 99 competitors, and this year we had no mishaps, no one to go off course,” he said. “Nobody complained.”

A lot of hard work had paid off, handsomely.

“Every year we get better and better. We learn from our mistakes,” Salon said. “Our goal is to become the premier triathlon in southern West Virginia.”

The Beckley physician also competed in the event and finished third in his age group, with a time of 1:35:36.

—E-mail: dstillwell@

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