Jerry’s Baddle dual sport competition held Saturday

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, May 4, 2016


Whitewater kayaking, road cycling prove tough for area athletes

Each April, athletes take on two of the region’s most difficult challenges in the annual Jerry’s Baddle event. First, kayakers run four miles of the Green River, including the ferocious Narrows section. Then, they (or bicyclists racing for them) saddle up for a 26-mile road race up the steep, two-mile switchback section of Green River Road, through Saluda, and back out Holbert Cove, Silver Creek and Green River Cove roads, and back to Wilderness Cove Tubing. Cyclists gain some 4,000 vertical feet.

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The event is named for, and honors the spirit of, Jerry Beckwith, a triathlete who died of ALS. Funds raised during the event go to the North Carolina ALS Jim “Catfish” Hunter Chapter and the Green River Access Fund. Catfish Hunter was a Hall of Fame baseball pitcher who died of ALS. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.

In Saturday’s Jerry’s Baddle, Saluda resident Drew Refshauge placed ninth among 25 individual racers, with an overall time of two hours, 13 minutes, 35 seconds. Overall winner was Adam Herzog, whose total time was two hours, 20 seconds. However, Refshauge’s time on the bicycle, 1:18:18, was second among individual competitors. Some competitors kayaked, while another raced the bicycle part.

Twelfth place (2:22:48 total time) among individuals went to Brooks Saucier of Tryon.

Shown here is a cyclist climbing one of the many switchbacks on Green River Cove Road. Cyclists started at one-minute intervals to avoid dangerous conflicts on the steep, narrow switchback section, and on at least one tricky section of Holbert Cove Road.