Triathlon Event Gets On Track In Oswego

OSWEGO, NY – Plans for a multi-sport event next summer were introduced at this week’s Physical Services Committee.

Trish Levine and Ron Nelson told the committee they were planning a triathlon for June 2011 and sought the city’s support.

The three-sport event would be held from approximately 7 a.m. until 1 p.m.

“Multi-sport activities are growing in popularity,” Levine told the committee. “It’s one of the fastest growing sports in the United States.

The triathlon is a non-stop event that includes a swim, followed by a bike, followed by a run, she explained.

Competition is open to both men and women. And, they’d also like to offer a youth division.

“There is a group of enthusiastic athletes in the Oswego area who have participated in triathlons for years. Many of us are new to the sport and feel that the city of Oswego would be an ideal location to introduce such a multi-sport event,” Levine said. “We have a beautiful harbor, wonderful roadways and we have a welcoming community that would really get behind this event.”

There are professional organizations that will help with the timing and sanctioning, added Ron Nelson, a co-organizer.

Being sanctioned is specific to what they have to do to hold the event, he explained.

Being sanctioned refers to the approval of the event from several points of view, he noted. It means the event safety plan has been carefully reviewed by experienced staff at USA Triathlon and that proper insurance coverage is in place (liability and personal injury.

All participants will either be annual members of USAT or one-day license holders.

The results of the event (adult division) will be scored in the annual rankings of the organization.

“But, before we can do anything, we’ve got to get the blessing of the city,” Nelson said.

Though the committee took no official action, they indicated there were in favor of the idea.

They told Levine and Nelson to work out more of the logistics involved and return to the committee with a more concrete proposal.

“We will come back with a full proposal, dotting our I’s and telling you exactly what we’re looking for,” Nelson said. “What is it going to cost; what we’ll need in the way of public safety.”

“We run the Novelis 10K race every year and it’s basically the same course this event would use for the run and bike parts,” Nelson continued. “So it’s not like we don’t have the logistics as far as how we do it. There is kind of an infrastructure already in there. So, we’ve got kind of an idea of what we’re going to need.”

With a triathlon event, it could take some participants around 2 hours to complete; others might take closer to three hours, which makes planning and conducting such an event a bit more difficult, he added.

They hope to have approximately 300 athletes compete in Oswego.

“At this point we wanted to introduce the idea to the council,” Levine said.

She added that they wanted to be able to get the event scheduled so it could be listed on the calendar of events for the spring tourism season.

They want to hold the event then because there aren’t a lot of other activities at the time and it would be at the start of the triathlon season; others have already been earmarked for dates throughout the summer in various locations.

Any revenues that come in as a result of the event would benefit a “junior development fund,” which would target ages 7 through 15” and introduce multi-sport activity to them, Levine explained.

They would be working with the physical education teachers in the school district

“We have the potential here to grow this race. And, there would be an economic benefit to the city,” Levine pointed out.

City resident Gail Goebricher agreed. “It will bring 400 to 500 people into town. They’re going to spend money here,” he said. “I think it’s absolutely something we have to do.”