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The Captain Thurmond’s Challenge is an annual extreme triathlon that has been going for +5 years now. It is held in the center of beautiful downtown Fayetteville, WV at the Court House. The race consists of 29.5 miles of the most extreme mountain biking (16.5 miles), whitewater (7 miles) and running (6 miles) in the state of West Virginia and some would say the entire East Coast. Participants can register to compete as part of raft team, a relay team, or in the solo division.

Some Fun Facts on the namesake of the race:
Businessman W. D. Thurmond died in Fayette County on May 14, 1910, at age 89. He was born in Virginia and came to Fayette County as a young man with his family in 1845.

During the Civil War, he served as a captain with Thurmond’s Rangers—a Confederate guerrilla force commanded by his brother Philip, who was killed in Putnam County in 1864. According to his family, W. D. Thurmond remained an “unreconstructed Rebel” the rest of his long life.

In 1873, he was commissioned to survey land on the north side of the New River Gorge. In exchange, he accepted 73 acres as pay and built the town of Thurmond. The Chesapeake and Ohio Railway was completed that year, and his town prospered while developing a reputation for rowdiness. Ironically, W. D. Thurmond himself was a strict Baptist who banned drinking and carousing in his town. However, to his dismay, the area just outside the town limits became known far and wide for decadent behavior—and everyone referred to the whole area as Thurmond—“Hell, with a river through it.”


My wife, Jennifer, my “blonde wife” Sam Vermillion and I rallied as a relay team for the 2021 edition of this fun race! It was Jen’s and my first go of this race and the three of us decided to just have fun with it in participating.

Jen started the race in town Le Man’s style for our team doing the 16.5 mile mountain bike course from downtown to me at the Cunard putin.

Race Start video –

I had a really fun time being back on the New River Gorge going fast in my JK Karma Unlimited for my part of the race. I finished the 6.8 mile run in 1:09:38.6 with the low flow (~1,900 CFS).

Sam finished the race for us doing the 6 mile run up and out of the gorge when I tagged her under the New River Gorge Bridge at the Fayette Station takeout. We all rallied back at the finish line to cheer Sam across the finish line.

I am really looking forward to giving this race another go next year. Good times, good times!

2021 Results –