Carolyn Fruth's first attempt at the 24th Annual Mountain Man Triathlon turned into a banner showing she'll probably proudly share with her two daughters.
Competing July 20 near Flagstaff in the Half Ironman event, Fruth ran, swam and biked her way to a second-place finish in the 40-44 years age division.
But most importantly, she turned in a 6:43:36 clocking over a rugged, high altitude course that included a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile mountain bike ride and a 13.1-mile run.
"I'm very happy with my time since this was my first Mountain Man," she said.
Adding even more obstacles to the already challenging run portion of the race, was the rain that poured down with about 15 minutes remaining in the event.
"They were torrential rains and made it tough to run," Fruth said. "But, I'm still glad I did it (the Mountain Man)."
Her time for the three events and two transitions was just 21 seconds off the winning age-division pace set by Chandler's Jill Futia.
In the swim, which was done in upper Lake Mary, Fruth was timed in 40:58, about three seconds faster than Futia.
In Transition 1, which was from swim to bike, Fruth took 5:37. Futia made up the lead the Payson mom had by doing the transition in 2:28.
In the bike ride, which was a circuit course over paved roads to Lake Mary, Fruth's ET was 3:35.23.
After Transition 2, from bike to run, which took 6:12, she was timed in 6:43.36 over the rugged running course.
"The course had about a mile-long hill, it was the toughest thing I have ever done," she said. "Some had to walk it."
Among those who pointed out to Fruth that it was her slower transition times that relegated her to the silver medal rather than gold was her husband, Tim.
"It's been suggested I become a transition coach," he deadpanned.
In addition to the Half Ironman event, the triathlon included sprint, Olympic and relay competitions. The Flagstaff showdown, which drew athletes from around the southwest, is the fifth oldest triathlon west of the Mississippi.