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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Willow Creek Triathlon raises $43,000 for vets

By SANDY RHODES

Another record-breaking year is in the record book for the Willow Creek Triathlon.

The sprint triathlon and duathlon, which was held Saturday, raised $43,154 for the Disabled American Veterans of McKean and Warren counties' transportation fund.

To date, the triathlon, in its 12th year, has raised 277,054 for area veterans.

"This year we had 150 people participate, which was 10 more than we had last year," said race director Gregg Reynolds."

The triathlon starts with a 300-yard swim in Quaker Lake in Allegany State Park, followed by a 15-mile bicycle ride to the Shack at Corydon. The last leg is a three-mile run to The Willows.

The duathlon eliminates the swimming portion.

"We appreciate the athletes and sponsors who not only support us in our endeavors, but, more importantly, support the veterans, which is what this event is all about," Reynolds said.

Reynolds said that a feature new to the event this year added a lot to the meaning of the day.

"The event went very well," Reynolds said "Dr. Dennis Faucher's speech and memorial to fallen soldiers - including giving the families a rememberance coin - was a very powerful message to the attendees about honoring our veterans."

Todd Willis of Franklin earned first place with a time of

1:06:00. Olivia Nuriulu of Erie was first in the woman's division with a time of 1:13:06.

Both were recipients of the Master Sgt. Thom Maholic Memorial Award.

Maholic was a green beret with Special Forces in Afghanistan. He lost his life in a battle with the Taliban in June 2006.

Several participants enjoy coming year after year.

"Always a great race and atmosphere," said Marty Gregoire of Buffalo, N.Y.

Jess McFall of Olean, N.Y., echoed those sentiments.

"Fantastic event, great cause, good times," McFall said.

Darryl Mayaeux and Jim Bacha won the Brad Keltz Braveheart Award, which is given every year to the participants who had to overcome an obstacle to do the event.

The complete list of participants, including times and placement, can be found at www.willowcreektriathlon.org.

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