At this year’s Smith Mountain lake “Big Lick” Olympic Distance Triathlon, less than a minute separated the three age group prizewinners in the men’s 45-49 category. The fleet-footed injury lawyer Landau was only passed by one athlete on the run, but his pedestrian swim put him far behind the leaders. Practicing “defensive cycling” in the rain, so as to avoid his own bike crash, the Masters triathlete had a less than spectacular bike leg kept in 3rd place behind clients and friends. Even in the steady drizzle of a cool fall rain, the annual full-length triathlon was once again a huge hit, with close to 800 athletes, volunteers, and spectators taking part on September 26 at the beautiful Smith Mountain Lake State Park. The tenth Annual Big Lick Triathlon was another successful multisport competition in the Virginia Triathlon Series, produced by the experienced team at Set Up Events. The annual event, sponsored by the YMCA of Roanoke Valley, raised almost $20,000 in support for the “Everybody Deserves A Y” campaign, which provides financial assistance for YMCA programs for persons in need.
378 triathletes braved the course, swimming 1500 meters, biking forty kilometers, and running ten kilometers. Among the participants were 36 teams (with individual team members doing one element of the triathlon), including college teams from Virginia Tech, James Madison, Maryland, and Liberty. The event went off without a hitch, thanks to the hundreds of volunteers and spectators who lined the course. Landau cheered every “Hokie” triathlete as he headed to Virginia Tech to visit his son, a Senior Biology and Spanish major. It was a long drive home in the dark and rain, but with another award and Tech’s win over his Law School Alma Mater Miami, there was much to talk about all the way to Oak Hill.