By J. Daniel Rollins
Register-Herald Sports Writer
Jennifer Christiansen has a goal for the sixth annual Glade Springs Charlie Williamson Triathlon. She wants people to understand that being healthy and getting exercise can be a lot of fun.
If that’s the case, there will be plenty of fun to go around on Saturday, Aug. 10, when the event kicks off at The Resort at Glade Springs.
“This is our sixth year, and we’re excited,” Christiansen, an event organizer, said. “When we first started, it was just the spring triathlon and over time we’ve added a 5K and 10K and the 5K walk. We’ve added a lot of kids events, too. And since it’s in an enclosed community, it’s safe for every participant.”
The triathlon will begin at 9 a.m., with a 750-meter swim in Chatham Lake. That will then be followed up with a 12-mile bike ride and the event will finish with a 3.11-mile run.
“The lake is gorgeous. It’s very clean,” Christiansen said. “The bike ride is great, too. It’s a lot of rolling hills; it’s challenging but not overly challenging. The run is the same way, but you get a view of the beautiful resort.”
For those not interested in the triathlon, the 10K event will begin at noon, and the 5K will begin at 12:10 p.m., with the kids events starting at 1 p.m.
“Last year, we added the walk, and our hope is that maybe in the future we will be able to incorporate a kids triathlon,” Christiansen said. “We’re trying to motivate everybody to be active and have fun. With the kids events, they’re becoming more and more competitive.”
There will be prizes for the best overall male and female, as well as medals and cash prizes for each age group.
Following the event, there will be a barbecue and live music from local band The Backtimers.
“They’ve been with us since the beginning and are always a lot of fun,” Christiansen added.
Christiansen expects a big turnout for the event.
“The past couple of years, we’ve had 150 people, so that’s what we’re hoping for,” she said. “We’re expecting anywhere between 15-18 relay teams, as well.”
Those wanting to participate may sign up at setupevents.com until next Wednesday evening. There will also be sign-ups available during the prerace pasta dinner at the Glade Springs Convention Center on Friday, Aug. 9, and on the day of the race, starting at 6 a.m.
“Our race is one of a kind,” she added. “A lot of people say good things and come back. It just seems that, what separates us from other races, we draw out of town people.”
The event already has runners signed up from as far away as Terre Haute, Ind., Pickerington, Ohio, and Charlotte, N.C.
“This is a great race for first timers,” she said. “If you can’t do all of it, just start out and get a good idea. It will give you something to work towards.
“Most importantly, just get active,” added Christiansen. “It can be a lot of fun.”
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