St. Mary's County Times August 10, 2017 - Page 6

6 Local News The County Times Thursday, August 10, 2017 USA Triathlon Race Sweeps St. Mary’s By Zach Hill Contributing Writer Marking the 10th anniversary of the Patuxent River Youth Triathlon, on Saturday August 5th, the races were off with some big changes made from past years. “This year was a fi rst for two things.” President of the Patuxent River Triathlon Club, Mark DeLuca said. “One, the Kids [Triathlon] is now offi cially sanctioned by USA Triathlon, the governing body of triathlons in the United States. The Race is part of the USA Triathlon Mid-Atlan- tic Region 2017 Youth Series” “Second, individual racer’s times were done by timing chip. Except for the 3-5 age group, each athlete wore a timing chip attached to their ankle by a strap. We hired [Charm City Run] to do the timing. They also took care of setting up and tearing down both the transition area and the race fi nish line.” Over the years, the race has continued to grow into what is now near maximum capacity. Starting back in 2008, the fi rst practice triathlon was run in Wildewood with around 25 children in the race. That number steadily grew to 70 participants in 2010, 106 participants in 2011, 129 participants by 2013, 143 participants in 2016, and then this year they saw the big- gest turnout to date with 159 participants. “We were near maximum capacity this year, yet we hope to fi nd ways to handle more racers in the future.” DeLuca said. “The key to growth is in inspiring these kids. If they are inspired to continue in triathlon, they will encourage their friends to get into the sport as well. We’re also developing relationships with our community. As our relationships get stronger, and we support each other more and more, the Kids’ [Triathlon] will get more exposure as well.” Now, after becoming offi cially sanctioned by USA Tri- athlon this year, there are hopes that the race will be able to continue growing even larger than it was this year. For a limited time, enjoy special savings on select Hunter Douglas window fashions. Offer valid August 1 – September 30, 2017 at your local California Showroom B A L D W I N D E S I G N G R O U P, I N C. SEMI ANNUAL SALE 23306 Three Notch Rd California, MD 301-737-0555 “As a USA Triathlon Youth Series event, we now have regional exposure.” DeLuca said. “That in turn should result in increased participation from youth outside our local area…[that] may inspire our local businesses and larger businesses to sponsor the race at corporate spon- sorship levels and in turn gain regional exposure for themselves. All these things support the main goal in- spiring youth to live the healthy, triathlete life.” The race is only made possible because of the hard- working committee members; Haylee Coffey the Race Director, Brooke Fallon the Food Coordinator, Jessica Lynch the Volunteer Coordinator, and Penny Barnett the Swag Coordinators. Sponsors for the race included: The Knights of Colum- bus, HTii, Lions Clubs International, Pro Flex Physical Therapy, The Pax River Adventure Center, and The Chris Hill Team from Century 21 New Millennium.