Bath County welcomes hundreds of athletes for Moomaw Madness


The 11th annual Bath County Triathlon is Saturday June 21st.  Part of the Virginia Triathlon Series, it’s held at Lake Moomaw which makes it a unique race for the athletes.

Steve Curtian is serving on the triathlon committee this year.  He is the Director of Rehab and Wellness for Bath Community Hospital.

“First and foremost, it’s one of the prettiest triathlons around and I’ve heard that from a number of participants,” say Curtian.  “We also try to bring a little bit of Bath County, not just the location, but the vibe, the food, we have music.  We play live bluegrass music while people are going through the transitions of swimming, to biking, to running.  We try to make it a family event.  We’ve had great participation from the bed and breakfasts and the hotel, promoting staying over.  I think it’s that feeling that it’s just not a triathlon, it’s more experience Bath County.  And that’s why I think it’s so successful.”

Between three hundred to four hundred athletes are expected to compete in the triathlon.  It consists of a 750 meter swim in Lake Moomaw, a 20 kilometer bike ride, which is about 12 miles, and a 5 kilometer run.  Athletes can enter as an individual or can form a relay team where one person does each leg of the triathlon.

The roads leading into the Bolar Flats area of Lake Moomaw will close by 7:15 on the day of the triathlon and will reopen at noon.  The Bolar Flats boat ramp will also be closed until noon.  The routes for the running and the cycling portions of the triathlon are closed to traffic.

“We do that for the safety of the athletes,” says Curtian.  “And there’s no way to predict how long it will take some of these athletes to finish any given leg of the triathlon.  So we can’t allow people to go out Rt. 600, because there are still some bikers out there that take every allowable moment to finish the event.  Which is the beautiful thing about it, because you have athletes that are training for the Iron Man Triathlon in Hawaii and then you have people that this is the biggest event they’ve ever done or will do.  And all of them are encouraging to each other and really put their heart and soul into it.”

Curtian encourages spectators to come out and enjoy the day with the athletes and take in the beautiful setting at Lake Moomaw.  Lunch will be available and you can purchase meal tickets at the triathlon.

“We have had people come as far away as New York state,” says Curtian.  “But most of our participants have done this triathlon repeatedly.  Virginia Beach, North Carolina, Harrisonburg, into West Virginia, but the mid-Atlantic area has been our basket, if you will.  We get them from everywhere and when they come, they normally come back.”

The Bath County Triathlon, also known as Moomaw Madness, is Saturday June 21. Remember  to arrive by 7:15am.   If you want more information, or if you would like to help as a volunteer, call the Bath Chamber of Commerce at 540-839-5409.

Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

Current Weather