Fall is the peak season for area endurance athletes

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With fall peaking over the last two weeks, so to have the activities of many area endurance athletes as at least a dozen members of Wilson Endurance Club (formerly Wilson Triathlon Club) or Wilson Beer Runners participated in marathons, Ironman competitions and trail runs.

At the top of the heap was the Wilson Endurance Club (or wil.tri as it is commonly called) trio of Jayme Daniels, John Boyette and Lee Eatmon that won the relay division at the Ironman 70.3 North Carolina “Beach to Battleship” competition Oct. 21 in Wilmington. Led by the 50-year-old Boyette’s top time of 2 hours, 22 minutes, 24 seconds in the 56-mile bicycle ride, the trio placed first out of 84 teams with a winning time of 4:46.08, more than a minute ahead of its nearest competitor.

The 40-year-old Eatmon got the day started by swimming the 1.2-mile opening leg in 26:15, while Daniels, a fifth-grade teacher at Wells Elementary who ran the Boston Marathon for the first time earlier this year, finished up with a 13.2-mile run, or half-marathon distance, in 1:52:16.

Boyette, who along with Daniels is also in Wilson Beer Runners, credited Eatmon, a Wilson native and Wilmington resident, for providing a strong start.

“He swims Banks Channel all the time and he knows where to swim to get in the current,” Boyette said.

It was a triumphant return to where Boyette first competed in an Ironman event four years ago.

The three also won the relay at the White Lake Fall International the weekend after Labor Day.

“We did that one kind of as a practice for Ironman 70.3,” Boyette said.

Also competing at the Ironman 70.3 North Carolina was wil.tri and Beer Runners member Scott Bumgarner, who finished the half Ironman triathlon in 6:30:58, placing 148th in the Male Ages 35-39 division.

In the Ironman Louisville, a full Ironman event Oct. 15, Chris Mitchell of Wilson went the distance in 15 hours, 10 minutes, 30 seconds to finish 190th in the Male Ages 50-54 division. Mitchell swam 2.4 miles in 1:11:01, biked 112 miles in 7:26:38 and ran a marathon (26.2 miles) in 5:56:19.

Competing in the Mother Earth Brewing Ironclad Half-Marathon in Kinston on Oct. 20, wil.tri member James Lewis of Tarboro took second place in the Male Ages 60-69 division and 84th out of 183 total runners with a time of 2:02:97 in the 13.1-mile race. His son, Robert Lewis, was 21st overall and No. 3 in the Male Ages 20-29 group with a time of 1:39:42 while daughter, Katie Schultz, also finished the course in 2:17:03, good for 127th overall.

Running in the Bull City Half-Marathon on Oct. 21 in Durham, Wilson’s Greg Yarbrough, also a Beer Runner and wil.tri member, finished fourth in the Male Ages 50-59 division with a time of 1:39:24.20 and 125th overall out of more than 1,400 runners.

But all of that was child’s play compared to the weekend of Oct. 20-22 spent by Wilson Beer Runners members Jason Woodall of Sims and Chad Cato of Wilson, who competed in the Uwharrie 100-Mile Trail Run in Troy. Woodall, 40, finished third with a time of 27 hours, 57 minutes and 9 seconds, just ahead of the 44-year-old Cato, who was fourth in 28:12:15. It was the fifth trail run of 2017 for Woodall and Cato’s fourth but the longest of the year for each of them. Of the 51 competitors who began the race, 27 did not finish.

Only slightly less insane was another Wilson Beer Runner, Chris Shearon of Wendell, who ran the 100-Kilometer (or 61-mile) version in 20:27:33, placing 24th out of 37 finishers and 47 who began the run.


The Wilson Endurance Club will hold its fifth annual Jingle Bell Run! on Saturday, Dec. 16, starting at 10 a.m. at Cavalier Park. Race segments are 10K, 5K and a 1-mile fun run.

A portion of the proceeds will go to benefit wil.tri member and mother of two Mindy Pierce, who is battling stage-4 colon cancer.

The cost per individual participants are $40 for the 10K race, $30 for the 5K and $5 for the 1-mile fun run. The registration for a team is $115. The cost includes a T-shirt if registration is completed by noon on Monday, Dec. 11.

For more information or to register, visit www.wiltri.com.