Sports

Triathlon hits island Saturday

Several South Whidbey swimmers used Holmes Harbor as an opportunity last Friday to practice for this Saturday
Several South Whidbey swimmers used Holmes Harbor as an opportunity last Friday to practice for this Saturday's Race the Rock triathlon. From left, Curt Johnson shows swimmers Jim Harwell, Jean Fankhauser and Harvey Varga and another swimmer the direction they would swim from Beverly Beach in Freeland.
— image credit: Jennifer Conway

Saturday's the day for many local athletes to strut their stuff on their home turf.

Whidbey Island's seventh annual triathlon, called Race the Rock, will have hundreds of participants swimming, running and biking around South Whidbey.

Between 9 a.m. and noon, race organizers say about 300 triathletes will compete in a swim, on bicycles and slug it out in a foot race.

The race, which starts at Lone Lake, will take racers on a half-mile swim, a 20-mile bike ride and a 3.7-mile run.

The bicycle and running portions of the race will send competitors onto Lone Lake, Saratoga, Brooks Hill, Andreason, Langley and Maxwelton roads, as well as Second and Sixth streets in Langley, and Park, DeBruyn and Camano avenues.

For this reason, staff at the South Whidbey Parks and Recreation District, which sponsors the triathlon, ask South Whidbey residents and drivers to be on the lookout for triathletes throughout the morning of the race. They also said drivers might experience brief delays at some road intersections Saturday.

Race organizers also ask that residents avoid scheduling garage sales along the race route because it can create an unsafe traffic situation for racers.

Renamed Race the Rock from Tri the Rock, this year's triathlon is expected to be the largest in the event's history. New this year will be electronic chip timing, which allows for a larger race field. There are still openings for those who wish to participate.

The parks district is also looking for more volunteers to run the race. Those interested in doing so should call the parks office as soon as possible. Volunteers receive an event T-shirt, training, and good company. Positions for volunteers are Friday set up, refreshments, parking direction, body marking swimmers, pedestrian control, boat support for swimmers, and start and finish line duties.

For more information about the triathlon race route or the race itself, contact South Whidbey Parks and Recreation District at 221-5484.

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