Tallahasee pair top finishers in Lake Blackshear triathlon

Photo by Carly Farrell

Photo by Carly Farrell

LAKE BLACKSHEAR, Ga. -- A winded yet unyielding duo from Tallahassee, Fla., put in the best male and female times at a grueling triathlon Saturday, crossing ahead of hundreds of other competitors at Veterans State Park.

In addition to the 400-meter swim, the 13-mile bike ride and the 5k run, participants in Saturday's triathlon had to brave unrelenting gnats and stifling humidity just to complete the course around the scenic park.

"It was great," 31-year-old Charlie Johnson managed to say while panting after crossing the finish line less than 58 minutes after he dove into the lake.

"It's really a smooth course. I'm definitely going to recommend it. And it was nice having a place to stay that's right there so we didn't have to drive this morning."

Entrants first leap into the water near the Lake Blackshear Resort around 8:30 a.m., where waves of white caps navigated around a series of buoys to fit in their 400-meter dip into the lake.

The swim was followed by a brief transition to mount bicycles as participants set out on a 13-mile loop around the park, which sets on the border of Crisp and Sumter counties.

"The bike course was awesome. It was wind-ey but flat so it was pretty fast," Sandy Holt, Johnson's teacher and the top female finisher said after crossing the finish around 1:35 minutes.

After looping the park, the cyclists dismounted and transitioned again into their running gear to head out on the 5 kilometer run through a different part of the park.