Fifth DisasTour Triathlon Raises Funds for Food Shelf


Front Page / May. 5, 2016 10:36am EDT

By Larry Straus

During the DisasTour last Sunday, Clyde Yarnell and Mark Andrew negotiate a rocky channel on the White River in Rochester. (Herald / Jerry LeBlond) During the DisasTour last Sunday, Clyde Yarnell and Mark Andrew negotiate a rocky channel on the White River in Rochester. (Herald / Jerry LeBlond) The White River DisasTour V triathlon was held in Rochester, Granville, and Hancock on Sunday May 1, with about 30 participants braving a cool, wet morning to compete in a recreational multi-sport race that toured 16 miles through the three towns.

First staged in the weeks after Tropical Storm Irene, the Disas- Tour was created by Sean Linskey as a way to boost community morale, celebrate the resilience of the towns, and raise money for flood relief. Organization of the race was transferred to the Rochester Area Sports Trails Alliance (RASTA) three years ago. Proceeds from DisasTour V will benefit the local food shelf.

RASTA is a local non-profit organization which was formed to help promote and develop nonmotorized recreational trails and backcountry glades in our area, and is a chapter of the Catamount Trail Association and the Vermont Mountain Biking Association (visit for more information).

The race began on the Rochester Park with bikers climbing a steep road into Rochester North Hollow, over to Granville, and down Churchville Road in Hancock. From there, the racers transitioned to a 6K paddle on the White River. An assortment of canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards headed downstream through small rapids, deep pools, and many shallow swifts, exiting at the new riverside park on the north end of Rochester village.

Racers then transitioned to a 5k running course along the river through fields behind the Rochester School and village, ending at Green Mountain Bikes. The bike shop threw a party with brick-oven pizza and beer from Lawson’s Finest Liquids of Warren, and Jimmy Brown of Artcast made awards for category winners.

RASTA and the DisasTour team are especially grateful to many local and regional business sponsors, all the RASTA volunteers stationed along the route, and local emergency organizations, including the Granville Fire and First Response Squad, White River Valley Ambulance, Rochester Constables, and the White River Rescue Team, a unit of the Bethel Fire Department.

This year’s winners: Ironman, Zac Freeman; Ironwoman, Marilyn Ruseckas; Iron Team, McDonnell & Friends; bike leg men’s, Adam Whitney; bike leg, women’s, Marilyn Ruseckas; paddle leg, men’s, Mike McDonnell; paddle leg, women’s, Marilyn Ruseckas; running leg, men’s, Josh Hanford; running leg, women’s, Carrie McDonnell.

It was a fun event, even in the rain! Mark your calendars for a bigger and better DisasTour VI to be held on April 29, 2017.

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