By Rob Cox Daily News
Greensburg Daily News
---- — GREENSBURG — In 2012, 60 sports enthusiasts and athletes from around the area took part in the inaugural Decatur County Family YMCA Sprint Triathlon.
The event, held at Decatur County’s Lake Santee in Fugit Township, starts with a 500-meter swim, then transitions to a 13-mile bike ride, before ending with a 5k run.
In previewing the 2012 event around this time last year, Program Coordinator Amy Klene told the Daily News 32 individuals, including four teams, had signed up to participate.
In speaking with the Daily News on Wednesday about the 2nd annual Decatur County Family YMCA Triathlon, coming up this Saturday at Lake Santee, Klene said that 54 people have so far signed up.
That figure is more than the goal Klene set for the total number of participants in 2012.
“We had a goal of 50 last year,” Klene said.
Klene is also encouraged by this year’s weather forecast compared to last year’s.
“We had a storm the night before the race last year,” she said. “And it kept raining until 7 or 7:30 a.m. That made conditions less than favorable. More than a few people stayed home because of the weather, I think.”
For Saturday’s event, however, the forecast is for sunny skies and a high temperature of 87. Klene anticipates starting temperatures in the low 60s or upper 50s.
“Plus, we were dealing with the drought last year,” she added. “The lake levels were down and we had to adjust the course; we had to start further from the shore than we anticipated. This year, the route will be more in line with what we’ve mapped out.”
The event starts at 8 a.m., Klene said. Individuals interesting in participating may sign up the day of the race starting at 6:30 a.m. at Lake Santee.
“You can also register Friday night out at the lake,” Klene said. “We’ll be out there from 5:30 to 8 p.m.”
As with last year’s race, individuals may sign up for the race as a team, with up to three people allowed per team.
Klene anticipates the race concluding around 10 or 10:15 a.m., and requests local homeowners around Lake Santee to watch out for runners and bikers in the neighborhood Sept. 7.
Also like last year’s triathlon, the 2013 edition is again formally sanctions by USA Triathlon (USAT). USAT is that national governing body of multi-sport events such as triathlons and duathlons, among others.
For 2013, Klene has lowered the minimum age for participation from 20 to 13.
“We obviously did that to attract more participants,” the coordinator said, “but we also learned that USAT guidelines are the same for this age group.”
Lowering the age has indeed attracted a few extra participants for 2013, with somewhere around four or five people in the 13-to-19-year-old age group signed up, according to Klene.
With 16 age groups in the 2013 triathlon, the order of the day will be goodies and awards.
For starters, everyone who enters receives a free tee-shirt, while everyone who finishes will also receive an award.
Klene explained, “The male and female winner in each age division gets a medal and the overall male and female winners get a trophy.”
There will also be free goodie bags and post-race snacks, including water and Gatorade.
Complimentary, post-race massages will also be available to all participants, Klene said, with two certified masseuses on site to work the knots out of overworked muscles.
The entry fee for USAT members is $65, while the fee for non-USAT members is $77. Teams may enter the event for $110, but each non-USAT member will be charged an additional $12 cost to participate.
The bulk of entry-fee money, according to Klene, will go into the YMCA general fund. The $12 collected from non-USAT team members, however, will be paid to the USAT.
Klene thanked the Triathlon’s sponsors: Hulsbosch Dairy, Family Dental Care, Fitness & Exercise Solutions, and Greensburg-Decatur County Tourism.
“This is a great introduction to the sport,” Klene added. “It’s a very well supported course, with plenty of life guards and in-race assistance available. There will also be water stations on the course.
Klene welcomed anyone who would like to volunteer to help with the event to give her a call at 663-9622, extension 17. Anyone interested can also visit decaturcountyfamilyymca.org/triathlon to volunteer or register for the race.
Contact: Rob Cox 812-663-3111 x7011