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Whaling City Triathlon New Bedford
The swim portion of the Whaling City Triathlon - photo by Capstone.

2nd Annual Whaling City Triathlon

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Whaling City Triathlon New Bedford
The swim portion of the Whaling City Triathlon - photo by Capstone.

by Joyce Rowley

“Every kid swims, bikes, and runs during a typical day,” said USA Triathlon Race Director Mark Walter of Sun Multisport Events. “People think of the Hawaiian Iron Man when they think of triathlons. But only a small percentage of triathletes perform in that race.” According to Walter, the majority of triathlons are like the Whaling City Triathlon—challenging but accessible.

Sun Multisport Events started the Whaling City Triathlon two years ago because they thought New Bedford’s Fort Taber area had right the combination of wide sidewalks, access to Buzzards Bay, and a boulevard for cycling.

“The run is a sprint distance,” he said of the running portion. Yes, but that sprint comes at the end of a 12.2 mile bike ride that follows a quarter-mile swim in Buzzard’s Bay.

Whaling City Triathlon New Bedford
Photo by Capstone.

This race is sanctioned by USA Triathlon, the national organization that governs triathlon events. USAT selects and trains teams for international competitions, including the Olympic Games. Bay State Race Services will provide “Winning Time Chip” time splits for racers’ swim, transition 1, bike, transition 2, and run times.

Beginning at 8:00 a.m., waves of swimmers will leave the East Beach shore every four minutes. High tide that morning is at 8:10 a.m. Six lifeguards will be in kayaks and a medic from the New Bedford Fire Department on a boat in the bay to watch for swimmers in trouble.

Once back on shore, it’s a race to the bikes at Fort Taber and onto the second leg of the race. Four relief stations will be set up along Rodney French Boulevard, which will be closed to traffic for the event.

“We need at least 50 volunteers to help with the race,” said Walter. “Often, family and friends of racers show up but we can always use more.”

Last year, Chris Algar of Woods Hole, MA led a field of 257 triathletes with a top score of 57 minutes and 31 seconds. Second place went to David Lamoureux of Lakeville, MA at 58:31. Awards are given to the top three finalists in each age group and in Athena and Clydesdale categories.

“And then there’s the swag,” said Walter. “Everyone gets an event race shirt and water bottle. Everyone that crosses the finish line gets a finisher medal.”

For more information on how to enter or volunteer, visit: www.sunmultisportevents.com/Whaling_City.htm.

About Joyce Rowley

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