Steptoe & Johnson attorneys Douglas G. Lee, Toney H. Stroud and John R. Merinar finished the Silverman Triathlon on Nov. 12 in 15 hours, 35 minutes and 46 seconds.

Three Steptoe & Johnson attorneys -- Douglas G. Lee, Toney H. Stroud and John R. Merinar -- took part in the Silverman Triathlon last weekend in Las Vegas. They competed in the corporate relay team division and finished in 15 hours, 35 minutes and 46 seconds. They are shown here recently training in downtown Charleston.

Lee

Stroud

Merinar

CHARLESTON -- Three Steptoe & Johnson attorneys traveled to Las Vegas last week with two objectives: to learn about changing workers' compensation issues and to test their swimming, biking and running skills in Las Vegas's Silverman Triathlon.

Douglas G. Lee, Toney H. Stroud and John R. Merinar finished the triathlon on Nov. 12 in 15 hours, 35 minutes and 46 seconds. The team competed in the corporate relay team division, which challenged athletes from across the country in the endurance event.

"Working together at Steptoe & Johnson and competing together in the Silverman Triathlon are complementary activities –- our firm promotes teamwork and sharing the credit, as well as the load -– and we used the same principles to compete in the triathlon," said Lee, who biked 112 miles in the competition. "We believe physical exercise is a good way to balance the stresses from the demands of our work."

The annual Nevada Silverman Triathlon was branded as the toughest course in North America and echoed by the 169 finishers from 2005.

Rather than indulging in all-you-can-eat buffets all weekend, the Steptoe & Johnson team sucked down packets of energy supplements and bottles of sports drinks to prepare themselves for the rugged competition. Lee said as he travels across the country to attend educational conferences, he tries to find fun and interesting events to participate in to build teamwork. Just last year, he and Stroud ran in the Las Vegas marathon.

As the team thought about this year's trip, they decided a team triathlon would be a new and exciting challenge. Lee took on the biking leg with over 9,700 feet of climbing to help build his cycling skills and Stroud used his extensive experience in marathon competitions to tackle the 26.2 mile run that boasts an additional 2,000-foot elevation gain.

The two attorneys turned to their partner Merinar, who used to compete as a swimmer, for help in the 2.4 mile swim in Lake Mead, not far from the Hoover Dam.

Lee finished the biking leg in approximately eight and a half hours, battling winds of 25 miles per hour that forced him to pedal even the downhill stretches. Stroud completed the run –- which was in the dark –- in about five hours and Merinar ended the swim in white cap covered Lake Mead in roughly one hour. Winds blew at 25 miles per hour throughout the entire competition. There were time limits for each event and if a team did not meet them, they were asked to stop and 100 of the nearly 400 competitors did.

The Steptoe & Johnson team made each time limit and finished the event. According to the Silverman Web site, the Steptoe team finished sixth in the corporate relay team division.

Lee and Merinar are based in Clarksburg, while Stroud practices in Steptoe & Johnson's Charleston office. For the past four months, the team met weekly for a lengthy run, in addition to their individual workouts to prepare for the competition.

While Lee and Stroud's training consisted of biking and running throughout their neighborhoods, Merinar swam laps in lakes and swimming pools to prepare. Until mid-September he swam in Oral Lake and then he turned to the Harrison County YMCA for his 1.4 mile swimming workouts five times each week.

The Nevada Silverman attracts individuals and relay teams from around the world and featuring a 2.4 mile swim in Lake Mead, a 112 mile bike ride with over 9,700 feet climbing, and a 26.2 mile run that boasts an additional 2,000 ft elevation gain. For more information, visit www.silvermannv.com.

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