RUNNING: HITS Triathlon Series coming to Hunter Mountain
RUNNERS these days are no strangers to multi-sport events.
I’d even wager that many biathletes and triathletes first started out as runners and gradually morphed into dabbling in the other disciplines before going full-on.
Athletes in our area have enjoyed some annual opportunities to try their “hand” at some of these multi-sport events, but none like what will be taking place June 9 and 10 at Hunter Mountain.
Tom Struzzieri, president of Horse Shows in the Sun (HITS), has contracted with premier triathlete coach Mark Wilson of Bearsville to present the inaugural HITS Triathlon Series.
Started in December 2011, the series travels all over the country and is making its first stop locally at Hunter.
“I had never heard of HITS until about three years ago when Tom’s wife Jean called me to purchase coaching sessions for him,” Wilson said. “He immediately fell in love with the sport and I’ve been his coach ever since. It was his idea to start the series and I love being part of it.”
WILSON came up with the idea to target cities in states that are “triathlete-rich” as a way to build in some early success.
“States like Florida, California, Texas, Colorado, New York, that’s where most of them are,” Wilson said. “We tried to avoid competing with other established triathlons and always look for places with good air and good water that are close to airports.”
This year, events were already held in Napa Valley, Calif. and Marble Falls, Texas.
After the stop in Hunter, the series continues in Fort Collins, Colo., then back to New York at Cooperstown (Sept. 22-23) before heading west to Lake Havasu, Ariz. and the championship event on Dec. 1 and 2 in Palm Springs, Calif. Continued...
“WE’VE had a good response so far and I think we’ve been able to bring in a lot of people who wouldn’t have ever thought about competing in a triathlon,” Wilson said. “We wanted to create distances for everyone, especially for those people who could never do an Ironman, so it’s for all levels and abilities.”
In addition to the full Ironman and half Ironman (which take place on the second day of the two-day event), each series stop also includes an Olympic distance, sprint distance and open distance race.
THOSE shorter distances are 1500-meter swim, 24.8-mile bike, and 10k run for the Olympic distance, 750-meter swim, 12.4-mile bike and 5k run for the sprint distance, and 100-meter swim, 3-mile bike and 1-mile run for the open distance.
The three shorter races take place on June 9 with the sprint at 7 a.m., Olympic at 7:30 a.m. and open at 12:30 p.m.
Half and full Ironman races on June 10 begin at 7 a.m.
“There have been tons of people choosing the shorter distances,” Wilson said.
As for the course, Wilson said selecting Hunter was easy with its scenery and hilly terrain.
“It is a beautiful course,” he said. “North Lake and South Lake are great places for the swim and the whole thing shows off the Hudson Valley. I love that we’re able to this in the mountains.”
Wilson said the route will travel on Routes 23A, 42, 28 and 214 with finishes at North Lake.
“It is challenging, but not crushing,” he said. “There’s a nice pitch to handle, but smooth roads and great views. The water in the lake should be about 65 degrees which is just right for triathletes.” Continued...
Pre-registration fees range from free (yes, free) for the open, $90 for the sprint, $150 for Olympic, $250 for the half, and $475 for the full. On race day, fees obviously increase.
TO PREPARE for the rigors of the longer races, Wilson is offering a weeklong triathlon camp at the Diamond Mills Resort in Saugerties from May 13-18. Cost is $2,000 for single occupancy and $1,000 for commuters.
“We will be training exclusively on the Hunter course,” Wilson said.
One change for next year will be a points system for the 2013 championships.
“For this year, anyone can come out to Palm Springs for the championship,” Wilson said. “Next year, you will have to earn enough points to qualify.”
You can get more information about the series on the event web site, www.hitstriathlonseries.com.
RATYNSKI, TAYLOR WINNERS
There’s nothing quite like a run along the Shaupeneak Ridge and 97 runners agreed with their finish at last week’s Spring Sprint 5k.
Sponsored by Scenic Hudson, this race continues to grow in popularity, aided by a delicious post-race lunch.
Shea Ratynski of Newburgh found the trail course to his liking and was the overall winner in 23:12. Jeffrey Andritz was runner-up at 23:29, while Mike Sindy was third in 23:33 and Mike Halstead took fourth in 23:42. Continued...
Ryan McCann grabbed fifth in 24:10 and Samuel Langshaw settled for sixth in 24:33.
Women’s winner Mendy Taylor set a course record for the ladies in a time of 25:05 and finished seventh overall.
The remainder of the top 10 were Mike Jessop (25:57), Ray Farrell (26:32) and second for the women, Sheryl Wheeler (26:45).
Other local finishers included Steve Schallenkamp (27:35), Jason Taylor (28:07), Spencer Schindler (28:25), Steve Schindler (28:43), Paul Muessig (29:22), Terry Newman (30:05) and Jacque Schiffer (31:11).
Please send all race results and information to 79 Hurley Ave., Kingston, NY, 12401; fax to (845) 331-3557; or email to firstname.lastname@example.org; Follow him on twitter at http://twitter.com/runerichrun
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