Barbara Schmidt Millar Triathlon 2008

(Sunday September 14, 2008)


Competitors gathered for the 14th annual Barbara Schmidt Millar “Celebration of Life” Women’s Triathlon, Sunday at Cascade Shores boat ramp on Scotts Flat Lake. The women swam for a half mile, biked for 11 miles, and ran for three miles. The triathlon, whose namesake died of cancer at the age of 42, has raised more than $320,000 to help local folks afford cancer screenings at the Sierra Nevada Memorial Breast Imaging Center. It has also funded 27 scholarships, totaling $62,000, for women pursuing college educations in the healthcare industry. Over the course of its celebration of life, 3,671 women — including 385 on Sunday — have supported a great cause through the dedicated donation of their own blood, sweat and tears. It’s impressive to anyone who has watched these women pace themselves through the half-mile swim, 11-mile ride and three-mile run. From the grimacing faces atop the climb of the Lake Lane Hill, to the smiles and tears shed at the finish line, their determination is there for all to admire. But it’s not only the top athletes who are applauded. In an event where a group of designated sweepers always finish last, they're all winners at the Celebration of Life Triathlon.

There goes Vicky....

And Amanda!

Tim and lil' Maggie.

Vicky pauses long enough for a brief thirst quencher.

Hi there Brent!

Amanda deposits her bike and is off running.

Vicky's ahead.

And here comes Amanda.

Timmy and Brent always here to support their sisters. This is Vicky's third year, and Amanda's second year participating in the triathlon.

Evans Phelps and Wenn Murphy

Despite the fact she’s now the four-time defending champion of the Barbara Schmidt Millar Celebration of Life Triathlon, Wenn Murphy is anything but a win-at-all costs competitor. Just ask her big sister, Breen, who saw as much after getting caught up with mechanical trouble during last year’s event. Even though her little sister was seeking a three-peat at the time, Wenn actually took a break from the race to come to her sister’s aid. “My chain came off and Wenn stopped to help,” Breen said. “That just embodies the spirit of the whole day. “Not that it wasn’t important to her to win, because of course she did anyway.” Such a show of compassion, despite any good-natured sibling rivalry or any potential threats to her crown, captures the essence of not only Wenn Murphy but also the Celebration of Life Triathlon, itself.

Evans Phelps, came out of the swim in second place. In fact, she was the first out of the water, off the bike and across the finish line for another top 10 finish. It's worth mentioning that she’s 58.

This is becoming an annual family event.

This athletic event is a wonderful community effort that benefits many people. Good work girls, and Bravo! to all the others who took part in it.