3 locals to compete in Nolichucky Triple Threat

Published 9:33 am Thursday, September 17, 2015

Contributed Photo The ascending wall climb is a back-to-back obstacle with a looming second hurdle after the first is completed.

Contributed Photo The ascending wall climb is a back-to-back obstacle with a looming second hurdle after the first is completed.

Joseph Pearman, Jennifer Bradley and Thomas Dillard of Elizabethton will compete against more than 100 other athletes in the Triple Threat Nolichucky Style Saturday beginning at 9 a.m.
The adventure challenge race in Unicoi County is the first competition that will incorporate the Nolichucky River, an obstacle course and an Appalachian Trail race.
“For years, USA Raft and the Chamber have been trying to come up with an event that would highlight some of the many natural resources that Unicoi County has to offer,” USA Raft CEO and event organizer Matt Moses said. “We wanted to encompass those into something that helps people be active and immerse themselves in the beauty of our region.”
It will begin at 9 a.m. with a 1.5-mile paddle down the lower Nolichucky River beginning at USA Raft, 2 Jones Branch Road, in one of two types of watercraft: inflatable kayak (“ducky”) or a Bellyak. Participants may also take a personal kayak, Bellyak or stand up paddle board.
Immediately when they exit the water, the clock will start, and they will enter into an obstacle course designed by iTrain Fitness of Johnson City featuring, among other obstacles, a sand crawl under barbed wire, monkey bars, tire drag, balance beam and various climbs.
Some participants have been training with iTrain Fitness, which trains specifically for events of this nature, while others are taking a more relaxed approach.
Dillard, an Elizabethton resident since 1995, has participated in two Tough Mudder obstacle races in the past, but has not trained much for this competition. He will compete with the Johnson City SWAT team and said he exercises regularly, has been running more frequently and has some river boating experience on the Watauga. He said he is not sure what to expect with the obstacles.
After completing the obstacle course, participants must run 5 kilometers back to USA Raft along the road and a section of the Appalachian Trail. At the end of the run, they will hop across a series of rafts and upside-down rafts in a pond to cross the finish line. First, second and third place winners will receive medals.
“The final obstacle should be very entertaining for the spectators,” said Moses, refering to the raft-hop. “Even if they don’t want to race, people can come enjoy the live music, and it’s a nice opportunity for people to hike and swim; it will be gorgeous.”
Afterwards, at USA Raft, people will have the opportunity to try out Bellyaks and stand up paddle boards.
Moses said he is expecting at least 300 people in attendance, either as competitors or spectators.
“We’re really hoping this is the first annual competition,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of interest thus far, and registration is still open.”
Registration is currently $70, but will increase to $85 for those wishing to register at 7 a.m. on race day. To register, visit nolietriplethreat.com or contact the Unicoi County Chamber at 423-743-3000.
Sponsoring the event are the Unicoi County Chamber of Commerce, USA Raft, iTrain Fitness, Crossfit Melee, Nolichucky River Sports, Brett Fortney Fitness, Harris Quality Asphalt Fillers, Fitaid and Fatz Cafe.

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