Drew Shelfer crosses the finish line of the Assault on Mount Mitchell atop the highest peak in the EastThe inaugural Mount Mitchell Triple Crown was completed by its two creators and sole competitors, Mark Ledyard and Drew Shelfer.Chances are you’ve never heard of the Triple Crown, but you may be familiar with its components: three endurance races that take place on the formidable 6,684-foot Mount Mitchell, the tallest mountain East of the Mississippi.Each event is a staggering feat of athletic capability. The Mount Mitchell Challenge is a 40-mile ultra marathon from the town of Black Mountain to the summit of Mitchell and back down again in the dead of winter. The Assault on Mount Mitchell, a cycling race in the spring, climbs 103 miles to the summit via the relentlessly steep Blue Ridge Parkway. And then there’s the Off-Road Assault on Mount Mitchell (ORAMM), a 60-mile mountain bike race on forest roads and highly technical single track in mid-summer.The Triple Crown challenges competitors to complete all three races in succession, thereby committing to a total of 203 grueling miles, 25,199 feet of climbing, and an unyielding onslaught of training, racing, and recovering between February and July.Shelfer, 41, a social worker and father, initially conceived of the idea to tackle all three Mitchell races in one year, but it was Ledyard, a 49-year-old veterinarian, who pulled the trigger. “I said to Drew, you’ve been talking about this for three years now. I’m doing it. You can either join me, or you can keep talking about it.”Both Asheville men are experienced ultra-marathoners, affable and filled with self-deprecating humor regarding their proclivity for the particular brand of suffering inherent to their pastime. Shelfer swears that his primary motivation to participate is “to be able to eat all the BBQ and drink all the beer I want.” Yet they both possess the hallmark intensity of extreme athletes, that sense that a depthless reservoir of energy is just barely being restrained.By early 2015, having recovered from a collection of injuries and orthopedic surgeries, Shelfer and Ledyard were finally ready to attempt the endurance trifecta.The friendly but fierce rivalry that has always existed between the two athletes became their main source of motivation. Says Ledyard, “We have a history of competition. We’ve gotten hurt trying to beat each other.”In the end, Ledyard finished with an accumulate time of 18 hours and 48 minutes, claiming first place by 1 hour and 9 minutes. They held a brief celebration by “borrowing” the podium after the ORAMM finishing ceremony, wielding homemade trophies and mugging for a single photo, taken by a friend.“You want to know what was going through my head at that moment?” asks Ledyard. “Thank God it’s over. This is one and done for me.” But judging by the emulous glint in his eye, it seems unlikely that he’ll let his title go undefended.To the best of their knowledge, Ledyard and Shelfer are the first people to ever complete the three Mitchell races in one year. They hope their efforts may have inspired a few more challengers for future Triple Crowns—or, at the very least, a third-place finisher to round out the podium in 2016.—Mt. Mitchell Triple CrownFinishing TimesMark LedyardMount Mitchell Challenge: 5:35Assault on Mitchell: 6:31 Off-Road Assault: 6:42 “The absolute worst moment for me was the hour long slog up the Parkway on the Assault on Mount Mitchell. It took everything I had mentally to push through and not just sit on the side of the road for a while. Every race was hard, and long, and every one had times where I really had to reach deep to push myself to go, but none were as miserable as slog up the Parkway. The best part for me was just taking on this challenge with Drew. He’s one of the nicest guys, and it was fun training and hanging out with him.” —Mark LedyardDrew ShelferMount Mitchell Challenge: 5:48 Assault on Mitchell: 7:08 Off-Road Assault: 7:01 “There were too many low moments to count. But every adventure was amazing, especially bcause I was chasing Mark the whole time. He made this challenge a ton of fun.”—Drew Shelfer
Working together supports unusual but successful arrangement.by: Karen BankstonWhen Bill Kiss or Jeff Shewfelt introduces himself at community and industry events as co-CEO of G & F Financial Group, “it’s always a conversation starter,” says Shewfelt. This unique arrangement took a little getting used to inside the $1.25 billion Burnaby, British Columbia, credit union, as well, but seems to be working just fine now. In the almost four years since they were named co-leaders in July 2011, the credit union has achieved solid growth and enviable employee engagement metrics.Kiss joined the organization as chief financial officer in 1996, and Shewfelt started in the branch network in 1991, working his way through branch management, loan processing, marketing, and HR; he was VP/sales and service when the CEO post opened. “We had a history of 15 years of working well together, and we both had extensive, but mutually exclusive, networks in the industry,” Kiss notes.So when the board launched a national search for a new chief executive, Kiss and Shewfelt threw their hats in the ring collectively. “We told the board we certainly understood the need to go outside the organization if they wanted to go in a different direction culturally and strategically. But if they wanted to move forward with our current strategy, we could do that without slowing things down,” Shewfelt says. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
Facebook0Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by Westport WineryWestport Winery has four recipes featured in Christy Campbell’s new cookbook and travel guide Eat & Explore Washington. On the cover it says, “Experience the Evergreen State like never before as you explore the distinct flavor of Washington and discover the state’s exceptional communities, beloved celebration, and remarkable destinations…”Included in this book are the winery’s Dungeness Crab Quiche, Flourless Chocolate Cake with Red Sky at Night Sauce, Rib-Eye with Demi Gastrique and French Bread. This book is available to purchase in the winery’s newly expanded gift shop. Westport Winery and Vineyards By-the-Sea with its unique sculpture garden and grape maze is located on the corner of Highway 105 and South Arbor Road halfway between Aberdeen and Westport. These award-winning wines are exclusively available at this location. The winery and bakery are open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The restaurant is open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and for dinner on Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. For more information contact Westport Winery at 360-648-2224.
Facebook320Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by Port of OlympiaOlympia Beekeepers Association members install hives in an Olympia Airport field that will be full of flowering blackberries this summer. From left: Laurie Pyne, James Martin and Roy Manicke.Eyeing the grassy fields at Olympia Regional Airport, local beekeepers saw a potentially perfect environment for raising honey bees.As bee populations continue to decline, beekeepers are looking for opportunities to site hives in safe locations with abundant food supplies. A growing trend is to install hives at airports.“Airports with their big green open spaces can be perfect spots for bees,” said Laurie Pyne, Olympia Beekeepers Association (OBA) president.The association presented a plan to Rudy Rudolph, Port of Olympia’s airport director, and found the Port to be very interested in collaborating on the project.“We see this as a great opportunity to partner with the Olympia Beekeepers Association to make a positive contribution to the environment,” said Rudolph.Rudolph identified five potential sites for the apiary. “When Rudy took us to the last spot, I saw immediately that it is a perfect site–a large, grassy field protected by a fence and a tree line, and full of blackberries,” smiled Pyne. “We are grateful that the Port is willing to partner with us and excited for the opportunity to raise awareness about bees,” she said.Last week, the airport welcomed its new tenants when OBA members James Martin, Roy Manicke and Pyne installed approximately 30,000 honey bees in two hives. The airport bees are a hybrid of two prominent strains – Italian and Carniolan, which are sub-species imported from Europe long ago.Members of the OBA will regularly monitor and maintain the hives and help the bees become accustomed to their new home. Until the surrounding blackberries flower, they will keep feeders full of sugar syrup to ensure the bees have a sufficient food supply.Eventually, OBA will harvest honey from the airport apiary. “This year the bees will depend upon their honey to survive through the winter,” said Pyne. “Next year we can begin harvesting honey and we will recognize its Olympia Airport origins on the label.”“If the colonies do very well, we may have to split the hives next year,” she added. With the bee population declining about 40% in Washington last year and at the same rate nationwide, new hives would be a plus.The decline of bee populations over the last two decades has had a corollary affect on the production of fruits and vegetables. Bees pollinate approximately one-third of the food we eat, including 80 percent of all flowering crops.Olympia Regional Airport joins other airports in the beekeeping trend. The largest airport apiary in the world is at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. The 28 hives they installed in 2011 have expanded to over 75 hives with over one million bees.Airports in Germany pioneered on-airport apiary programs as early as 1999. These include international airports at Hamburg, Munich and Dusseldorf.Other airports having apiaries are Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Lambert-St. Louis International Airport and Montréal-Mirabel International Airport in Mirabel, Québec.