Despite cold temperatures, wind and a constant threat of rain almost 100 participants showed up to compete in the 2nd Annual METAvivor Adventure Race in Hillsmere on Saturday.
The race was designed to raise money and awareness of Metastatic stage IV breast cancer survivors and research. The triathlon with a unique twist consisted of a 2 mile kayak course, a 15 mile bike portion and 3.1 mile run. Competitors could do all three legs of the race themselves or some formed teams and relayed out each leg.
Organizers said this year's event raised more than $10,000 dollars through entry fees and other donations.
The triathlon, which is a USA Triathlon sanctioned event, started with three waves of kayakers. The first wave left Hillsmere beach at 8:02 a.m. Conditions on the water were pretty rough for racers, prompting organizers to cut the kayak portion down to a quarter of a mile instead of the planned two miles.
Anne McDermot, an Annapolis resident and breast cancer survivor, said the waves were like ocean waves.
“Getting back in was pretty rough, you had to wait for a wave," she said. "It was a little scary.”
McDermot formed a team with four family members; her sister Jennifer Holt and aunt and uncle Marie and Desi Hannon. In their case, each team member completed all three legs of the race.
Other participants said the water was brutal. One man said, “The waves kept wanting to flip me. Coming back in you just had to surf to try to keep things under control.”
Nancy Roth, a Hillsmere resident and first-time METAvivor participant, was in the third wave of kayakers. She said by the time the third wave started the wind had picked up and the waves were pretty intense.
At least one kayaker ended up in the water, but was quickly pulled out by the South River Federation volunteers. Kayak Annapolis tours also had boats in the water to help out racers. The company also donated kayaks for racers to use.
At least six stage IV survivors participated in the triathlon. Other participants signed up for the race because they work with the women of metastatic stage IV breast cancer at Anne Arundel Medical Center (AAMC).
Bill Vickers, one of the first-=place finishers in this year’s race, is a doctor at AAMC. He, along with fellow first-place finisher, Mike Berry said the rough weather wasn’t a problem.
“We are used to a lot worse," Vickers said. "It was a great day, we are happy with the whole thing. We are just glad to be out here supporting such a great charity.”
Others signed up for a chance to break into the triathlon racing scene.
Danielle Wefelmeyer, an avid biker and Sykesville resident, said she signed up because she wanted to compete in a triathlon and liked the kayak portion of this race. She also said she liked that the entry fee was going to a good cause.
Race organizers Sherry and Josh Goodman and Ron Bowman said they were happy with the turn out. More than 100 people signed up to participate and about 80 showed up on Saturday. Organizers said they think the weather had a lot to do with that.
“Around 20 people didn’t make it," Sherry Goodman said. "A lot of them were coming from parts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey—you know places that were further away—so we think the weather and worry of it being canceled kept them from coming.”
Goodman has been volunteering with METAvivor since 2008 and approached chapter President Dian Corneliussen-James about organizing a race to raise money for the charity. Together with her husband, Josh, and friend Ron Bowman the METAvivor Adventure race was brought to life and the first race took place last year.