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Democrat Photo by Frank Rizzo

AMONG THE PARTICIPANTS at last Saturday’s ninth annual Highland Triathlon were Jamie Hopkins of Liberty.

Odds and Ends
Of the Highland Triathlon

By Frank Rizzo
YULAN — August 10, 2001 – As we saw on Tuesday, the Highland Triathlon continues to be one of the more successful summer events in the area. It brings together volunteers from Yulan and surrounding communities, as well as official organizations, in a cooperative effort.
Among the participants singled out by race director Doug Stern were Bill Schneider of Barryville and Don Davis of New Paltz, both of whom have participated in all nine editions. Davis is also, at 56, one of the perennial oldest competitors.
The youngest entrant on Saturday was 16-year-old Jamie Hopkins of Liberty, making her debut. After finishing the 14-mile bike ride Hopkins said she cramped up and sat down.
“I wanted to continue but Doug told me I shouldn’t,” Hopkins said. “I think I could have finished it.”
“She was sitting too long,” Stern explained. “It would have been foolhardy for me as race director to send her out to run.”
Hopkins plans on entering next year’s event.
Another first time participant was John Campbell, 36, of Glen Spey. Campbell said he started doing motocross six months ago and began a training regimen.
Swimming was the hardest part for Campbell.
“I haven’t been in water in four years. The only time I touch water is in the shower,” he laughed. ‘I came out of [Washington Lake] feeling light-headed, but once I got on the bike I felt good.”
Campbell said he was saving himself for the notoriously difficult Barryville to Yulan Road bicycle portion.
‘It wasn’t as tough as I thought,” Campbell claimed. “I was saving myself for it … I managed to stay in the same gear. Everybody passed me, but I made it.”
Campbell plans on entering the race again next year.
“I had family and friends encouraging me today, and that made me feel good,” he said.
While Stern was handing out awards and raffle prizes, Bill Norton of Wurtsboro, another race veteran, greeted his wife, Jean Velasquez, just back from winning the Jeff Jam 5K (and $125 prize money).
The pair had run a week before in the brutal Escarpment Trail Run — 181&Mac218;2 miles in the upper Catskills.
“It’s tougher than a marathon. It takes all week to recover,” Norton said.
He then joshed, “What I’m saying is, if I hadn’t run [in the Escarpment] I would have won this!”
But Bill was only half joking when he suggested to Jean that they use her prize from the Jeff Jam 5K to have a nice dinner that night.
Jean would prove her mettle by winning the Monticello Monster 10K the following morning. Bill chose to stay out, but rode his bike around and lent her support.

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