Overall Triathlon winner
Jeff Mutchie, 46, of Boise, swam, biked and ran to an overall win at the 2017 Wallowa Lake Triathlon Sprint “Race to End Abuse” last Saturday. Mutchie is a return competitor who can thank the entry-level Triathlon for sparking his competitive fire back in 2014. That fire has since taken him to the Boston Marathon this April and will take him to the Cozumel Iron Man later this year.
“I love it up here,” Mutchie said. “We come up every year and we were lucky to come up twice this year. It’s a super awesome event and I love the cause.”
The race raised $3,400 in sponsorship and $1,200 in entry fees for Wallowa County Safe Harbors this year.
The event is a favorite for local runners and saw the return of Ron McAfee, 59, of Joseph. McAfee sought special permission in 2015 to run in a team with his daughter, Ashlie, 14 (two years shy of the required minimum age for runners). The duo gutted it out in 2015, with Ashlie struggling in the 500-meter water leg and Ron limping in with a bad leg cramp in last place after the 5K. The 12-mile bike ride to Joseph and back was the easiest portion for the team.
This year McAfee rose to the challenge thrown down by Jerry Ivey, 58, of Enterprise, and shaved 15 minutes –– yes minutes –– off his previous time. Even factoring in the shorter 250-meter swim this year, it was a significant improvement.
“That was good!” a happy McAfee said. “And Ashlie liked the idea of the shorter swim, and she says we’re a team again next year.”
No official times were available prior to press deadlines, but top times are usually under one hour.
The top female racer was Lindsay Thane of Portland; there was only one team entry this year, the Wallowa County Vikings, featuring Nils (swim), Anette (bike) and Leif Christoffersen (run); the oldest female competitor award went to Jennifer Hobbs of Lostine. The oldest male competitor was Ron McAfee of Joseph.
Organizer Paige Sully was pleased with the turnout of 29 competitors.
“We thought scheduling earlier to get the long weekend would make this more attractive to folks,” she said.