By Taylor Doss
In the event’s seventh year, the reigning men’s solo champion of the Wrightsville Beach Biathlon will be back in Wrightsville Beach this weekend with the goal of making it four-in-a-row.
Jeremy Whitted, the South Carolina-based paddler who has owned the race in recent years, isn’t the only repeat winner in the race, as the relay team from Wrightsville SUP is also on a winning streak.
Once again hosted by the Blockade Runner Beach Resort, the race presents competitors with an 8.5-mile race divided into two portions. The race begins with a 4.5-mile paddle board course and is followed by a 4-mile run between Johnnie Mercer’s Pier and Crystal Pier.
A portion of the proceeds raised will go to the North Carolina Coastal Federation. The race features three separate divisions, including individua men and women, corporate challenge teams, and community challenge teams.
The biathlon is focused on providing a family oriented event in addition to a competitive race, said race director April Zilg.
“We want the race to be all inclusive, from beginners to experienced competitors,” said Zilg, who is ranked in the top 10 of women’s competitive SUP racing and will teach a paddle clinic on Friday, March 17.
Weather is a concern for the race too, with high winds potentially forcing Zilg to alter the current course, to keep the race as safe as possible.
Following the race, there will be an after party by the pool of the Blockade Runner. If the weather turns bad the celebration will be moved inside.
The winner’s names will be added to the trophy, housed at the Blockade Runner. Winners will also receive gift cards and assorted swag donated by local sponsors and businesses. In addition, the winning team in the corporate challenge division will have their names displayed in lights for 48-hours on a digital billboard on Oleander Drive.
Late registration will be available on the morning of the race, March 18.