Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Happy 80th, Charley French

Birthday boy celebrates in Spudman

Ketchum's indomitable Charley French, 80 years young Thursday, Aug. 3, was an inspiration to his fellow triathloners Saturday on a hot day for the 20th annual, 31.9-mile Burley Lions Club Spudman Triathlon.

French, 79, won the individual men's 65-and-over class with a finishing time of two hours, 43 minutes and 35 seconds. The 51.5-kilometer course featured a 1.5k swim, 40k (24.8-mile) bicycle ride and 10k run.

His splits were 18:52 swim, 1.17:04 bike and 1.03:19 run.

Eight Wood River Valley triathletes joined the field of 1,400. Six brought home trophies including French. Individual winners were Kelly Williamson, 36, of Boise in 1.48:50 and Charity Vernon, 24, of Salt Lake City, Utah 2.12:56 (55th).

"Team Crawford" consisting of swimmer Terry Crawford (15:56), bicyclist Bill Gundy (1.16:21) and runner Derrick May (40:52) won its 138-and-over combined ages division with a time of 2.15:06, 67th place out of all athletes and teams.

Sue Gundy, 51, placed third in the women's 50-54 class at 2.39:59, 404th overall, with splits of 19:35, 1.15:41 and 59:22.

Dave Gundy, 28, was sixth in men's 25-29 and 51st overall at 2.12:40 with splits of 15:24, 1.06:22 and 47:23. Travis Soppe, 25, was 17th in the same class at 2.23:39 and 144th overall with splits of 16:00, 1.10:21 and 53:44. And Chase Barnes, 26, placed 28th in men's 25-29 at 2.29:16, 223rd overall, with splits of 17:21, 1.13:29 and 54:32.

One finisher was 2006 U.S. Olympic alpine skier Steven Nyman, 24, of Orem, Utah. Nyman, a two-time national downhill king, was 63rd overall and third in men's 19-24 with a final finishing time of 2.14:04.

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