Local racers score high in Tsali Triathlon

More than 300 competitors converged on Tsali Recreation Area earlier this month for the 14th annual Tsali Challenge Triathlon, a 3-mile lake paddle, 4.5-mile trail run and a 12-mile mountain bike trail ride.

 

“This is such a popular race because the course is challenging and very do-able by all participants. Participants like to use the event as a terrific way to measure their fitness levels year after year,” said NOC Special Events Director Kathy Allison.

Once again, Swain County locals dominated as top finishers.

• Rand Perkins, 54, won first place in Men’s Masters.

• Julie Dauphine, 40, won first in Women’s Open.

• Dottie Brown, 50, won first in Women’s Masters.

• Mac Brown, 42, won third place in the Men’s Open.

Locals also racked up the top spots in the relay event.

• In the Co-ed Relay category, Dave Allison, Julie Dauphine and Brandon Coleman — all Swain County residents — came in first. Coleman, a Swain County high school track runner, joined the race at the last minute to cover for Jonathan Maddox, also a high school track star, who was injured before the race.

• In the Men’s Relay category, first place was taken by Chris Hipgrave, a professional paddler in Swain County; Ben Coff, a mountain biker who works at the Nantahala Outdoor Center bike store; and Daniel Hamilton, a runner from Franklin.

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