Dewey Beach: Swim, Bike, Run, that’s what the Dewey Beach Triathlon was all about on Saturday September 17, 2016, and Athletes wasted no time getting down to business as it kicked off on the North end of Towers Beach.
For this year’s event, the Sprint Triathlon consisted of it’s usual 1/2 mile swim, 15 mile bike, and 3.5 mile run. In addition to the Sprint Triathlon, a Duathalon was added to this year’s event, allowing Athletes an opportunity to race in a 1/2 mile beach run, 1/2 mile swim, and a 16 mile bike race. They also introduced relays.
As the event began to roll out at 7:30 A.M., athletes became more anxious and nervous. For some, this was a new challenge. For others, this was a chance to prove they still had what it took to complete the course, and compare previous years finish time.
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Timing was tracked by Setup Events in the following Categories: Overall Men, Overall Women, Relay Teams, Male Age Groups, Female Age Groups, Clydesdales/Master Clydesdales, Athenas, First Timers, Aquabike Male/Female, and Duathlon Male/Female.
With very few injuries including one surf rescue that had to be made when a swimmer became trapped in a rip current and pulled under water, and tons of sponsors and volunteers, this years event was as big of a success as any other.
The first Dewey Beach Triathlon was held on September 14, 1996 at what was then called Gary’s Surf Spray. Gary’s Surf Spray was located on New Orleans St in Dewey Beach. The race also held it’s after party on the roof of Gary’s. Since it’s inception, the race has been held as a charity event for the Sussex County Family YMCA’s “Campaign for Healthy kids”. Since it outgrew it’s original location, it has been held at the Delaware Seashore State Park ever since.
According to the Triathlon website, “It’s a no frills, grass roots community event and a Dewey Beach tradition that brings athletes and their families from near and far to the resort area.”
Keeping the money in the community, all proceeds goes directly to Sussex County Family YMCA. The event is 100% volunteer coordinated and supported with vendors and sponsors such as Jack Lingo Realty, Go Fit Banz, Quality Inn, Tri Coach, and more.
Sussex Family YMCA provides the opportunity for everyone in the community to be healthy and thrive regardless of age, income or background. Financial Assistance awarded from the Annual campaign allow children and adults to participate in YMCA programs such as fitness classes, summer camp, pre-school, after school care, swim lessons and many others.
The Campaign also allows Sussex County Family YMCA to continue to provide Water Safety Week and our new Open Water Safety program at Lewes Beach.
In 2015, Sussex County Family YMCA provided over 600 children a week’s worth of FREE swim lessons and lifesaving skills and in the same year raised $15,278.00. Without events such as the Dewey Beach Sprint Triathlon, the ability to continue such great community programs would be diminished.