Tomorrow marks the sixth annual Beach2Battleship Triathlon, which is sponsored by PPD, a Wilmington-based organization researching pharmaceutical technology. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Wilmington Family YMCA. And among the two thousand-plus participating athletes are seven special participants known as PPD Heroes. Each has overcome grave illness, and is competing to raise awareness about the importance of clinical trials for the development of medical treatments.
Fifty-four-year-old Laura Hull is PPD’s oldest hero. She’s competing in the iron event as a relay with her daughter. Hull was only able to begin exercising a few years ago, after clinical drug trials relieved much of the gastric difficulties related to ulcerative colitis, a condition she’d been living with since age twenty-four. Once she was finally able to work out, Hull turned to her local YMCA in Winston-Salem.
"Which just makes me so excited that through PPD sponsorship of this race, the proceeds are going to benefit the Wilmington Family Y. Because if it weren’t for my Y, I wouldn’t be competing in triathlons. Four years ago, they offered a beginner triathlon training course."
Hull says she’s honored to represent sufferers of ulcerative colitis, a condition that typically makes travel and exercise nearly impossible.
**Be prepared for triathlon-related traffic closures and event changes.
The following areas will be affected by more than 2,250 athletes expected to participate in the event:
- In downtown Wilmington, Water Street from Grace to Dock Street–the site of the triathlon finish line–will be closed from noon Friday, Oct. 25, through 2 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 27. The Riverfront Farmers' Market will temporarily relocate to the 00 - 200 blocks of S. Front St. for one day only.
- The intersection of Market Street (U.S. 17) and Porters Neck Road just south of the I-140 interchange is expected to have delays from 7:30 to 10 a.m. for northbound traffic on Market Street at Porters Neck Road. Motorists are also advised to expect delays for Porters Neck Road traffic accessing Market Street.
- The Isabel Holmes Bridge and U.S. 421 will experience race traffic from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Saturday. Motorists are advised to use the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge when traveling between Wilmington and Brunswick County.