WILMINGTON, N.C. – Twenty-one student-athletes from the UNC Wilmington men’s and women’s cross country teams assisted in a support role with the recent Beach 2 Battleship Iron Distance Triathlon.

The Seahawks served as an honor escort at the half-way turnaround of the marathon leg or at the end of the full race. UNCW’s runners ran alongside with the competitors from the entrance to the Battleship USS North Carolina to near the finish line.

“The runners were very appreciative of the gesture,” said Layne Schwier, UNCW’s assistant cross country/track and field coach. “We received several messages the next day from race officials and fans that saw us. It was a great experience for everyone.”

UNCW’s harriers volunteered from 6-10 p.m. and one, freshman Laurie Humphrey, ran with her father as he completed the full distance.

The Ironman features a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile run.  Some of the finishers took as long as 15 hours to complete the competition.