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The Inaugural District of Columbia Triathlon 2010

September 13, 2011

The first Washington, D.C., Triathlon took place on June 20, 2010. The well-organized event drew experienced triathletes such as Dr. Geoffrey Mountvarner, Chief of Emergency Medicine at Howard University Hospital in Washington, D.C., “newbies,” and numerous other participants. The Sprint included an 800-meter swim, 20k of biking, and a 6.7k run. The Olympic event entailed a swim of 1,500 meters, a 40k bike ride, and a 10k run. Dr. Mountvarner, representative of many participants, also has competed in the Nations, Dextrose, and Chicago Triathlons, as well as in a number of marathons.

The first Washington, D.C. Triathlon, like most such events, relied on hundreds of volunteers. The race’s official volunteer organization, the DC Triathlon Club, consists of more than 2,000 triathletes in the District of Columbia, southern Maryland, and northern Virginia. The organization provided volunteers, coordinators, and support in the months approaching the race and on race weekend, as did many other volunteers. Such positions included volunteer kayakers, canoeists, course marshals, transition-area and race-start monitors, and water-station volunteers. In addition, aides at the finish line gathered timing chips; distributed food, water, and medals to athletes; and assisted with crowd control.

A USA Triathlon- (USAT-) sanctioned event, the D.C. Triathlon followed all USAT rules and regulations. The swimmers, released in waves, began at 6:00 a.m. Biking rules included not littering and moving a bike off the course to fix a flat tire. Only those wearing helmets could mount their bikes, and not until crossing the mount/dismount line. Runners could not use cell phones, headphones, or any music devices. The course included several aid stations, approximately one mile apart, with water, electrolyte fluids, and other products.

For those new to triathlons or for individuals seeking to improve their skills, the National Capital YMCA Triathlon Club coordinates an 18-week training program annually from February through June. New York City’s largest team of female triathletes, Team Lipstick, recently launched a 12-week beginner program in Washington, D.C., for women wanting to get fit for triathlon competition, and OnPoint Fitness holds a 15-week program that is also for beginners. The adult-focused Team Z provides training for athletes of all abilities. It appears the successful D.C. Triathlon will continue for years to come.

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