*(Editor's note: this story was from before the first annual Peasantman race).
Penn Yan, New York (Combined News Services) ~ Peasantman founder Joe McMahon of Rochester, New York set the world record in the Peasantman Steel Distance yesterday with a mark of 16:55:13, finishing with many nagging injuries but finishing nonetheless.
Reaction around the sports world has varied, as some have pointed out that no one has ever done a race at this distance before, meaning that he would have obviously set the word record simply by finishing, and that he technically also finished last. Some media outlets have claimed that McMahon has actually run the slowest steel distance race in history.
Regardless of the controversy, McMahon persisted through the entire 144.6 mile course, finishing with painful foot injuries but within the alotted time.
"We are absolutely thrilled that Mr. McMahon has set the world record at the new Peasantman Steel Distance," said Peasantman founder Joe McMahon. "His effort should be a big influence on our other competitors, and he should serve as an inspiration to us all."
Nothing was easy, however. During the second lap of the swim, McMahon was offered Excalibur by the lady of the lake. However, the weight of the sword caused him to sink to the bottom, forcing him to abandon it and continue on. He also had a brief scare by the Loch Keuka Monster.
The bike portion was not much easier, as he braved dragons and firebirds of prey. During the run portion of the race an unidentified wild beast lunged at him from the darkness of West Lake Road, but he was assisted by a kindly centaur.
"I would never ask my fellow Peasants to do something I wasn't capable of doing myself," said McMahon. "If I can do it, so can you."
McMahon's record is scheduled to stand for nine weeks, after which several athletes will break the record on race day.