Quarter century for triathlon in Pleasanton

Four-part series takes place at Shadow Cliffs

The 25th annual Tri-for-Fun Triathlon Series kicks off this weekend with close to 1,000 triathletes expected Saturday to swim, run and bike the lake and rolling hills of Shadow Cliff Park and the flat paved roads running through Pleasanton and Livermore. The series includes three Tri-For-Fun triathlons throughout the summer then ends with the Tri-For-Real competition in September.

The Tri-For-Fun features a 400-yard swim; an 11-mile bike; and a 3.1-mile run and is touted as a perfect course for newcomers as well as seasoned triathletes. Last year, the youngest and oldest participants recorded were a 6-year-old and a 78-year-old.

Although the Tri-For-Fun triathlons do not offer prizes, a digital timing clock allows participants to check on their times.

"We have made so many wonderful friends through the years because of the Tri-For-Fun," said Mark Aiton, co-principal of On Your Mark Events, which runs the event. "There are now literally thousands of people who cut their triathlon teeth with the Tri-For-Fun, and they keep coming back, as well as take part with our other longer-distance triathlons."

Aiton had been involved from the beginning and said the events have been perhaps the most fun he has even had.

"Twenty-five years ago, I stood on a picnic table, using a megaphone to talk to 28 competitors and an additional seven volunteers" Aiton said. , co-principal of On Your Mark Events, which runs the event. "It wasn't until the 1992 season that I was thinking, 'Wow, we're five years old ... Then I turned around, and it has been 25 years."

Many of the tri-athletes work out with Bay Area gyms, such as YMCA's, and a number are Team in Training groups. Throughout the season series, at least 60% of all the participants will be beginners.

The Tri-For Real event is held at the same location but the distances are increased to a 700-yard swim, a 20-mile bike, and a 4-mile run. The Tri-For-Real is also professionally timed, giving 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 2012 On Your Mark Tri-For-Fun Series dates are June 16, July 21 and Aug. 18; Tri-For-Real will be held Sept. 16. Check-in begins at 5 a.m., and all races start at 7 a.m., at Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreation Area, 2500 Stanley Blvd., Pleasanton. There is a 1,000-participant maximum for each triathlon and organizers noted that the triathlons do sell out.

Entry fee for the three Tri-For-Funs is $65 in advance, and $75 to register the day of. Participants receive a commemorative T-shirt, refreshments, snacks and entry into a drawing. Tri-For-Real is $75 advance, and $85 the day of. Multiple-triathlon discounts areavailable.

For more information about the Tri-For-Fun Triathlon Series, contact On Your Mark Events at 209-795-7832 or visit their website.


Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Ironwood
on Jun 14, 2012 at 7:54 am

It might help people to state road impacts and times, letting people know to avoid those areas like Railroad and Vineyard at 7 AM when it starts.

Like this comment
Posted by Staycee D. Ragon
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 14, 2012 at 2:37 pm

can Lance do this triathlon or is he banned from participating in one too?

Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 14, 2012 at 4:06 pm

I agree that noting the road closures would be important and seems to be common courtesy. Those who live or work downtown are greatly impacted, it would be nice to know the route.
Another thought -- do these people have to pay for the extra police coverage needed to stop traffic? Certainly should not be the taxpayers who have to fund that as well.

Like this comment
Posted by Curious
a resident of Del Prado
on Jun 15, 2012 at 8:41 am

There are no road closures during the Tri 4 Fun races, but there may be delays. Stanley and Vineyard remain open to traffic, but there will be police directing traffic at major intersections like Isabel and Vineyard. Traffic downtown is not affected since the race course is only around Shadowcliffs park.

Lance has only been banned from events run by the WTC who owns the Ironman brand of triathlon races. The Tri 4 Fun is managed by On Your Mark Events so he is welcome to come to Pleasanton and compete.

The event organizer, On Your Mark Events, pays for police and Emergency Services during the event as well as a hefty fee to the East Bay Regional Parks which I assume goes back into the parks system and benefits all taxpayers using any of the EBRPD parks.

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