Pedal, Paddle, Puff challenges competitors

Riders set off on a 15.8-mile ride in the first stage of the Pedal, Paddle, Puff competition Monday, July 4, at Haller Park.  - Chris Trujillo
Riders set off on a 15.8-mile ride in the first stage of the Pedal, Paddle, Puff competition Monday, July 4, at Haller Park.
— image credit: Chris Trujillo

ARLINGTON — Bethany Earnhardt entered the Pedal, Paddle, Puff triathlon with a specific game-plan — make it to the end and try not to pass out somewhere in between.

After surviving the 5.8-mile bike ride, and then paddling the 6-mile canoe or kayak portion, Earnhardt’s strategy was right on track. And then came the 2-mile run.

“That’s an absolute killer,” Earnhardt said about the run. “I should have trained a little bit harder and way more often. But this was fun and I’ll do it again next year.”

With clear skies and the sun beating down, more than 30 cyclists, paddlers and runners competed in the Arlington Chamber of Commerce organized event. And when it was done, the family team of Mike and father Jim Trowbridge captured the overall Family category. Jim Trowbridge left the competition behind him once he hit the Stillaguamish River. When he reached shore he was nearly four minutes ahead of his nearest competitor.

“We love coming down here every year and participating,” Jim Trowbridge said. “My son, Mike, is the one who carried us. I am just an old guy.”

“I am a cyclist and I train about four days a week, so I felt really good coming into today,” Mike Trowbridge said. said. “The running part of this race is definitely the most difficult because of all the hills. You’re either going up a hill or running downhill so you have to prepare for that. This was our seventh time running and it never gets easier.”

As for Earnhardt, she finished somewhere in the final wave of competitors. All she knows is that her family was the only fanfare greeting her at the finish line. But for the mother of two, competing had nothing to do with fairing well. It was about doing something she never thought she could do.

“I am guessing I finished last because I didn’t see anyone when I finished,” she said laughing. “But this was about doing something I never thought I could do. Now I want to climb Mount Rainier and jump out of an airplane. I just not sure those are realistic, but I am not getting any younger so I better get on it.”


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