By Barbara Grady-Ayer
So what if there’s no pool? Organizers of the second annual Albany Triathlon are not deterred by the lack of a pool. They’re just calling it the “Dry Triathlon” and it’s coming up this Sunday, Oct. 25.
The running and biking but hold-the-swimming event will launch from Memorial Field in Albany, with the first wave of racers taking off at 8 a.m. for a biking course of nine miles and a running course of two miles. There will also be a “Mosey” edition of the race involving a four mile bike ride and one mile run.
“The reaction of the community to the flexibility and openness of the triathlon’s structure where people could race or just participate, and feel supported by all, was great,” said one of the organizers, Michael Mejia, recalling how it went last year.
“Every Albany High School student has to run a mile for timing every week. Residents run and ride bikes on the BART Trail and Bay Trail and also ride to work,” he said. “Clearly hundreds of kids ride their bikes to school every day – over 50 to Albany High School alone. With these sorts of numbers of active people, an event like this a natural,” Mejia said. Volunteers with the Albany Athletic Boosters organized the event.
If last year’s Albany Triathlon is any guide, the event will bring out young and old, serious athletes and Saturday morning joggers as well as those who just like to walk. Last year, the 70 participants ranged in age from 10 to 68 years old and you can see the enjoyment they had by reading the Albany Today 2008 story on the event go to http://albanytoday.org/2008/09/29/504/
Albany’s pool has since been torn down for reconstruction. But participants from last year have been asking when is the next Triathlon, so organizers went ahead and planned something — sans swimming.
In addition, the triathlon is a fundraiser for Albany High School athletics whose budget has been cut in half. Last year’s triathlon brought in $1,100 but organizers are hoping for both more participants and more revenue this year since the need is so great.
The nine miles of biking entails 15 cycling laps around the Portland, Masonic, Thousand Oaks and Carmel block that surrounds Memorial Field and Albany High School. The two-mile running track is four laps around the sidewalks and lawn of the same block.
The “Mosey” event will take off at 9 a.m. for eight cycling laps around that block and two running laps on the running course. Streets will be closed off to automobile traffic and event organizers will supply water, first aid supplies, course marshals as well as T- shirts and water bottles to participants. It costs $30 to enter and the race will accommodate the first 100 people who sign up. To do so go to http://Albanyhs.schoolloop.com/boosters/general and click on “Albany Dry Triathlon.”