Forget about planes, trains and automobiles.
If you plan to compete in the annual McMinnville City Triathlon, it’s all about swimming, biking and running.
The triathlon is less than two weeks away, set for Saturday, Aug. 19. Start time is 8 a.m. at Gilley Pool. Online registration is still open at mcminnvillecitytriathlon.com.
Several local residents have been training for the big event, including surgeon Adam Franson. He spent a portion of Saturday morning on a bike ride with Zach Sutton and Ben Myers.
“I’ve been impressed with the number of people who do this just to have a good time,” said Franson, who has competed in the last three triathlons here. “They’re not so much concerned about their time as they are about having a reason to get off the couch and get active.”
McMinnville’s triathlon is touted as a great event for beginners because its distances are short compared to other triathlons. The swim is 400 meters, the bike ride 18 miles, and the run 5K.
“You don’t have to spend an inordinate amount of time training,” said Franson. “The bike is my best event. After that, I got nothing.”
It will be the first triathlon for Sutton, who does trail running to stay fit. Myers also does a considerable amount of running and holds the distinction of being the most recent winner of the Stars and Stripes Fun Run in downtown McMinnville on July 4.
You have to be more than a strong runner to excel in the triathlon. Former Olympic swimmer Paige Northcutt says all three aspects are important.
“McMinnville City Triathlon is an opportunity for beginners to try out the sport of triathlon, which brings together three disciplines of training,” said Northcutt, one of the organizers. “For intermediate and advanced triathletes, this is warm up for the longer distances of triathlon, those being Olympic, Half Ironman and Ironman. Or it is a chance for them to better their own personal best times. The triathlon is for young and old, first-timers and world-class triathletes.”
Kimberly Feno is one of the organizers who played a key role in reviving the local triathlon. McMinnville had a triathlon for several years, but it was discontinued before Feno and others restarted it in 2013.
“The city of McMinnville had been paying a for-profit company to coordinate the event,” said Feno. “I wanted to make the event a fundraiser for giving back to the community. A group of like-minded athletes came together to revise the McMinnville City Triathlon in 2013. Each year the event has been a great success for participating athletes, volunteers, and our community. The other beauty about triathlon is that it is a race for all people, all ages, all shapes and sizes, and all levels of fitness. We would love to see more people in the community come out and support the race by either participating or cheering on participants. I want to give a big thanks to all of the committee, volunteers, sponsors, and the city of McMinnville that make this race possible year after year.”
Proceeds from the last year’s triathlon went to a pair of $1,000 scholarships.