By STEFAN GESTWICKI
OBSERVER Sports Reporter
After a wildly successful first run, the Tri Dunkirk will return to the shores of Lake Erie on Sunday, August 26.
Participants begin the bike portion of the first ever Tri Dunkirk held at Wright Park last year.
Tri Dunkirk is a triathlon hosted by Score This!!! of Orchard Park and consists of a variety of different races, distances and sport combinations.
Last year, the first ever Tri Dunkirk drew over 310 athletes, 100 volunteers and scores of spectators.
"If a race director could have a perfect day, which I don't think is even possible, Tri Dunkirk was it," Rich Clark of Score This!!! commented. "It just seemed everything went as planned. The weather report was cruddy, but we woke up in the morning and it was just perfect."
The event is unique because it features what is known as the F1 Intermidiate triathlon, which consists of a 1.5K swim, 40K bike and 10K run.
"It's the only F1 of it's distance in the country," Clark added. "Usually that style of racing is much, much shorter. We decided we wanted to try this and see if athletes would bite. The race has had a good response. Last year we had 42 athletes complete that distance."
New this year is the addition of a pre-race pasta dinner, held on the eve of the event. The meal is still being finalized by local athlete and Score This!!! representative Paul Gavin, but athletes will be able to purchase tickets and proceeds will benefit a yet-to-be-determined charity.
See TRIATHLON, Page B3
As of the race itself, a portion of the proceeds will go to the Southwestern New York Chapter of the American Red Cross.
"We've worked with the Red Cross for a number of years," Clark continued. "The first thing we did when we came to the area was look for a Red Cross chapter. We've had a lot of success working with them in the past and hopefully it continues on into the future."
Perhaps the most appealing aspect of Tri Dunkirk is the broad range of skill levels it caters to. There are six different races, including a kids' race.
"We have athletes who are brand new who will start a 6-10 week training program," Clark said. "It's not an insurmountable distance for someone willing to try. What we suggest is going and participating in a clinic or go volunteer at another multisport event. We have people who volunteer and come back fired up once they see what it's all about."
For more information, to register or for a full race schedule, visit the Tri Dunkirk website at www.tridunkirk.com.
Anyone interested in volunteering at the event can contact the American Red Cross or visit www.tridunkirk.com and click on the volunteer link in the middle of the page.
Sponsors for Tri Dunkirk are Tri-Spot Multi Sports, John W. Danforth, Buffalo Triathlon Club, We Massage, Tops Friendly Markets, Strassburg Sock, Runner's Remedy, Balega, Endurance Factor, Hammer Nutrition (Ltd.), Always A Party & Abby's Loft, Road ID, Fuel Belt, Avon, QT2 Systems, Core Diet, Rudy Project, XX2i, Once Again Nut Butter, Liberty Vineyards and Score This!!!.