The OCCC SuperSprint Triathlon made its annual return to the campus Saturday, June 8. Over 200 participants from Oklahoma, Texas, Indiana, and Tennessee competed in the triathlon consisting of a 500 meter swim, a 12 mile bike ride and a 5K run.
The overall winner was Eric McCrary, 24, of Catoosa with a total time of 57:48. The female division winner was Debbie Brooks, 51, of Oklahoma City with a time of 1:07:26.
One of the most inspiring parts of the race was 54 year old John Shelton, a single-leg amputee, who finished the race 75th in the men’s division and 85th overall with a time of 1:19:03.
Just before jumping into the pool to begin his race, Shelton said the hardest part of the triathlon was changing his prosthetic legs for the different events during the transition time, something he never practices. Shelton said this was probably his tenth time participating in the OCCC SuperSprint.
“Triathlon is a lifestyle that promotes health and love,” Shelton said. Shelton said his biggest problem in competing in triathlons is his health and his piling medical problems. “Just when you think you’re kicking ass, something happens,” Shelton said.
Shelton said he participates in races for fun and to stay healthy. When asked what time he was hoping to finish with, Shelton said, “Wherever I end up.” He then pointed out his friend who already had begun swimming and confidently said “I’m going to pass him in the pool. He’ll beat me on the bike, but I’m going to pass him in the pool.”
As Shelton later crossed the finish line, he was showered with applause and encouragement from both the onlookers and his peers.
Prior to the race, both Kathryn Bray, 27, and Katy Brown, 23, who have competed in similar events before, were not nervous as they were preparing for the race. They were both hoping to finish with a time somewhere around an hour.
Brown said it was her competitive nature that got her to compete. Brown finished third place in the women’s division, 50th overall and Bray finished 12th in the women’s division.
The youngest competitor was 9 and the oldest was 72.
Three young men competed in the 11 to 14-year-old division; Ash Brayer, 11, Garrett Elmore, 14, and Dylan Mitchell, 11. All were a part of H.I.S. Racing Team, a racing team based out of Oklahoma City promoting triathlon involvement to kids ages 7 to 19.
Brayer said his favorite part of the triathlon is running, Mitchell said his is swimming, and Elmore jokingly said his is “the end.” It was Brayer’s first triathlon, finishing 82nd among males and 98th overall with a time of 1:20:19. Elmore and Mitchell have run in triathlons previously and finished 32nd and 132nd overall respectively.
Friends and family members lined the transition areas and the finish line to cheer on their loved ones and to encourage the 144 men and 66 women who finished the race.
After crossing the finish line, it was a place for exhausted racers to regain their bearings and energy, many suffering from exhaustion and cramps and some even vomiting as volunteers handed out water, snacks, and sports drinks. Full race results are listed at dgroadracing.com .
To contact Mitchell Richards, email firstname.lastname@example.org.