After a night of drenching rain, participants of the 13th annual Boiling Springs Triathlon were gifted on Saturday with pleasantly sunny warmth and notably reduced humidity.
“The weather was perfect. Not raining, not too cool and not too humid,” said Christine Grice of Dillsburg, who placed first in this year’s 40-49 age division among women.
While triathlon board member Erin Brenner also noted Saturday’s conditions as “perfect,” things weren’t so nice on Friday night when a pounding rain started at around 7 p.m., delaying pool preparations for the race. Brenner and others had no choice but to come in earlier on Saturday morning to get the event ready.
That’s not to mention what triathlon contestants willingly endured on Saturday. In all, the three-tiered event involved consecutive rounds of arduous swimming, bicycling and running. This year, a total of 103 individuals and 17 teams took part.
To start, contestants were required to swim 18 lengths, or about 900 yards in the Boiling Springs Pool. The race was staggered with only 10 participants allowed in the pool at once, with the first group entering the water at 7 a.m. Swimmers had 30 minutes to complete this task or were disqualified.
“The swim is my favorite part of everything because it’s first, and I’m raring to go,” Grice said.
Contestants' next challenge was a bike race consisting of three laps of a 5.1-mile course of rolling terrain on open road. Event organizations changed this year’s bike course from previous years “with safety in mind,” Brenner noted.
“We wanted to create a course where bikers would only need to make right turns and avoid traffic on (state Route) 174,” Brenner explained.
“The bike felt good to me. The weather was great,” said Scott Baldwin of Carlisle, who placed third in the men’s open division
For the final round, participants ran a 3-mile trek before hitting the finish line behind Boiling Springs Pool where an enthusiastic crowd cheered each finisher. Nearby, entertainment was performed by the Mechanicsburg band, This Side Out, while Boy Scout Troop 171 of Boiling Springs handed out free ice cream to the public.
“I’ve done this (triathlon) a bunch of times. It’s just fun to go from swimming to biking to running,” said Michelle Howe of Dillsburg, who participated with the River Racers relay team. “It’s a nice, local event and well organized.”
Brenner said her favorite part of the event is “how much our community comes together, cheering each other and having a great time.”
At the end of the race, Triathlon director Daniel Doyle presented a $6,000 check garnered from race proceeds to Project SHARE. The donation was accepted by Deb Hess, the organization’s director of development and major gifts.
Doyle also announced that triathlon officials would donate $500 in matching funds to the Save the Lake organization, which was on-site selling merchandise to raise funds for improving Children’s Lake. The triathlon had pledged to match Save the Lake’s earnings there for up to $500. Although the organization fell a bit short with a total $434, Doyle said the triathlon would donate the full $500 limit.
Doyle ended the event with announcing the day’s winners in each division, with top winners awarded medal and gift certificates from the Appalachian Running Company in Carlisle.