PLEASANTON — On Saturday, June 16, a field of close to 1,000 first-timer, few-timer, and many-timer triathletes will be on hand to kick off On Your Mark Events’ 25th annual Tri-For-Fun Triathlon Series (four triathlon events), at Shadow Cliffs Regional Park in Pleasanton.
Using the lake and rolling hills of Shadow Cliffs and the flat paved roads running through Pleasanton and Livermore, the Tri-For-Fun features a course distance of 400-yard Swim (warm, clean lake); 11-mile bike (loop course, flat streets); 3.1-mile run (rolling fire trail).
The course is perfect for the newcomer as well as the seasoned triathlete, according to a press release from On Your Mark Events.
Along with the shorter (than usual tri distance) course and the safe, friendly, and non-competitive atmosphere, the Tri-For-Fun makes a good event for the numerous first-time triathletes.
It’s not unusual to see a 10-year old running along side with a 70-year old. (Last year, the youngest and oldest participants recorded were 6 years old and 78 years old.)
Though the three Tri-For-Fun triathlons are not competitive with awards (remember, it’s for fun), there is a digital timing clock so each participant can check on his/her time personal achievement.
On Your Mark Events’ Co-Principal Mark Aiton remembers:
Twenty-five years ago, I stood on a picnic table, using a megaphone to talk to twenty-eight competitors and an additional seven volunteers. After giving pre-race instructions, I put the megaphone down....we all laughed... and about 10 min later , the horn went off and the first, of what is now 69 Tri-For-Fun Triathlons began. Later that day, I was asked if it was fun.... after I laughed, I commented that it was maybe more fun than I had ever had. At no time in the first few years did I think 25 years down the road. It wasn’t until the 1992 season that I was thinking, ‘WOW, were five years old... I wonder what 10 will feel like.’ Then I turned around, and it has been 25 years.
The Tri-For-Fun Series is the goal for literally hundreds of first-time triathletes each year. Many of them have been working out with Bay Area gyms, such as YMCA’s, and a number of Team in Training groups. Throughout the season series, at least 60 percent of all the participants will be beginners.
After the novice athletes master the first three Tri-For-Funs, they can meet the challenge of the final event – the Tri-For Real. The final event of the series is held at the same location, but the distances have been increased to 700-yard swim, 20-mile bike, and 4-mile run. The Tri-For-Real is also professionally timed, giving our official results.
Many veteran triathletes say the Tri-For-Fun Series provides the ultimate training and practice session for longer-distance triathlons. This group is always sent out in the “first wave,” so they can jump way ahead of the less-experienced. The consistent course also allows routine time-trial checks of fitness or gives an outstanding “brick” workout for the experienced triathlete. These participants use the short-course triathlons to sharpen their racing and transition techniques.
The 2012 On Your Mark Tri-For-Fun Series dates are June 16, July 21, and August 18.
The Tri-For-Real will be held on September 16. All races will start at 7 a.m., at Shadow Cliffs Regional Park, 2500 Stanley Blvd., Pleasanton. There is a 1,000-participant maximum for each triathlon. The triathlons do sell out.
Entry fee for the three Tri-For-Funs is $65 in advance, and $75 day of. Participants will receive a commemorative T-shirt, refreshments, snacks, and entry into the always-exciting raffle (must be present to win). ($75 advance, and $85 day of for the Tri-For-Real, which also includes trophies and medals.) Multiple-triathlon discounts are available.
Check-in and registration will begin at 5 a.m., with the first wave hitting the water at 7 a.m.