‘Tri’-ing and succeeding at Capt. Hiram’s River Challenge

Bianca Dasilva [Photo: Denise Ritchie]

Despite the drop in temperatures last Sunday morning, the competition heated up during the seventh annual Capt. Hiram’s River Challenge Triathlon. The popular riverside restaurant hosts the sprint triathlon to raise money and awareness about the perils that face our Indian River Lagoon.

Nearly 200 participants “tri-ing to save our river” plunged into the icy waters of the lagoon off the Capt. Hiram’s Sandbar for a 1/4-mile swim, before hopping on their bikes for a 12-mile bike ride and coming into the home stretch with a 5K run.

Keeping the mantra of the event at the forefront – “Get off your ass and save some seagrass!” – the triathletes traveled along a scenic course that showcased much of the beauty event organizers are hoping to preserve.

Proceeds from the race benefit the Ocean Research and Conservation Association, the Environmental Learning Center and the Coastal Conservation Association. All are environmentally focused nonprofits with a particular interest in the health of the Indian River Lagoon.

ORCA is working to protect and restore aquatic ecosystems and the various species they sustain through the development of innovative technologies, science-based conservation action, community education and outreach. The CCA seeks to ensure the health and conservation of marine resources and anglers’ access to them. And the mission of the ELC is to educate, inspire and empower everyone to be active stewards of the environment.

When the last runner had crossed the finish line, the crowd gathered in the Sandbar for a celebratory awards ceremony, complete with refreshments, educational kiosks and music by The Axcents, an alternative rock band, that helped warm things up.

For more information, visit hirams.com/triathlon.


  • First-Place Male: Matt Price, with a time of 1:07:03
  • First-Place Female: Shelly Whisenhant, with a time of 1:12:47
  • First-Place Relay Team: Smashlyn, with a time of 1:07:44


Photos by: Denise Ritchie
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