The annual Stonewall Jackson Triathlon will take place this Saturday, August 22 at 8AM. The USA Triathlon sanctioned race consists of a 1000 meter swim, 26 mile bike ride, and a four mile run. Now in its eighth year, the event has steadily gained attention and attracts athletes from all across the region to compete at Stonewall Resort.

Both the swim and run portions of the race are contained entirely on Resort property, while the bike ride winds along the country roads of Route 19. Participants complete the first leg of the triathlon by swimming across the Stonewall Jackson Lake. In its final leg, the course leads runners through Resort roads offering a breathtaking view of the State Park grounds. Three time finisher and Fairmont resident, Matt Chapman, stated “It’s a great location for a triathlon in our area. People travel to Roanoke for the challenging hills and scenery around Stonewall.” Chapman has competed twice as an individual and once as a part of a relay team. “With each person doing a leg of the race, the relay is a great introduction to the sport and makes for a fun experience.”

Coordinated and presented by the Lewis County Chamber of Commerce, the race also serves to generate support for the organization. Stonewall Resort’s Community Outreach Director, Samantha Norris, commented “the event is a fundraiser benefiting the Chamber, but ultimately promotes outdoor activity, which is a shared goal of both the State Park and the Chamber.”

Not quite triathlon ready? Don’t let that keep you away, because not only are race spectators encouraged to attend, there are even events planned with them in mind. Immediately following the swim portion of the triathlon, the lake becomes host to a Cardboard Boat Race, in which teams construct vessels to carry them across. Awards are granted not only for speed, but also for entertainment value, including the Most Spectacular Sinking. “It has really become a family event”, Norris said of the day’s festivities. “The boat race was created to give spectators something to enjoy while they waited.”

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Pre-registration numbers for this weekend’s triathlon have already surpassed that of any previous year. With participants registered from all over the state, as well as Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Virginia, Maryland, and South Carolina, they are well on their way to reaching the race cap of 200. Pre-registration closes tomorrow at 8am, so sign up now! The cost for individuals is $65 now and $70 on race day. There are also mixed relay options allowing multiple participants to compete as a team. For relays, the cost to register is $100 or $110 on race day.

All registration and detailed race day information can be found here.

The full list of race day sponsors includes: Mountain Lakes Convention and Visitors Bureau, iLease and Rentals LLC, Friend 2 Friend Hearing Center LLC, North Central Insurance Services, North Central Insurance LLC, JW Ebert Corp/McDonalds, Citizens Bank of Weston, MVB Bank, Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital, Antero Resources, Allegheny Science and Technology, J & M Graphics, WDTV Channel 5, Lewis County Chamber of Commerce, and Stonewall Resort.