June 2016 - TRIATHLON & DUATHLON
Fronhofer, Musselman, XTERRA, Old Forge, Crystal Lake
By Christine McKnight
Have you ever competed in the Fronhofer Tool Triathlon? If not, this will need to be the year. Mark your calendars for Saturday, August 6. After a ten-year run, this season’s staging will be the finale for the event, which is known for its great athletes’ swag, hometown atmosphere, and beautiful setting at Lake Lauderdale – just north of Cambridge in Washington County.
The reason is simple: the FTT’s co-directors, Bridget Fronhofer Crossman and her husband, Kevin Crossman of Fort Edward, have decided it’s time to turn the page on this chapter of their lives and focus more on family. Besides that, the Fronhofer Tool Triathlon has achieved its major fundraising goal in support of children’s literacy.
Since its inception, this gem of a race has raised an impressive $100,000 for children’s literacy in Warren, Washington and northern Saratoga counties. Net proceeds every year are earmarked for two organizations dedicated to children’s literacy, B.O.O.K.S. (Books Offer Opportunity, Kids Succeed), serving children in northern Saratoga, Warren and Washington counties, and Books in Kids Hands, serving Salem and the surrounding area. The goal is to top out this year at a total of $120,000 raised over 10 years.
“A successful run of 10 years is a great run for anything, but in the end, it all came down to family,” said Bridget, a librarian at Lake George Elementary School and head of B.O.O.K.S. She and her aunt, Karen Fronhofer, a librarian with the Salem School District and the leader of Books in Kids Hands, came up with the idea of the triathlon. It has succeeded both as a fundraiser and as a first-rate triathlon.
To mark the finale, the Crossmans are planning a number of special things, still under wraps, for triathletes and volunteers alike. Registration, which typically tops out at just under 200, is running way ahead of last year.
The Olympic distance FTT on Saturday morning will once again be preceded by a shorter kids’ triathlon Friday night. This event has introduced hundreds of boys and girls to triathlon over the years. Visit: fronhofertooltriathlon.com.
Enjoy the beautiful Finger Lakes region on Friday-Sunday, July 8-10 at the Musselman Triathlon at Seneca Lake State Park in Geneva, a little slice of heaven. There are a multitude of races to choose from – including half, sprint, kids and supersprint – so the whole family can join in.
There’s the DoubleMussel (sprint and half or aquabike), Musselman Half, AquaMussel (swim/bike), Mussel Relay (new for 2016), miniMussel, miniAqua, miniMussel Relay or Musselkids. The “Mussel” races include 1.2-mile swims, 56-mile bike, and a 13.1-mile run. The “mini” events consist of a 750-meter swim, 16-mile bike, and 3-mile run. Registration is open so signup and show your mussel! It’s also the designated “club race” for the Saratoga Tri Club. Go to: musselmantri.com.
The Multi-Sport Life Supersprint Triathlon (0.25-mile swim, 7-mile bike, 2-mile swim) on Sunday, June 19 – Father’s Day – is a great way to kick off the season for new and experienced triathletes. It’s staged at Crystal Lake near Averill Park in Rensselaer County and draws a strong contingent of kids, many of them competing alongside a parent. “Any youngster who can ride a bike can do a triathlon,” said SkyHigh Adventure’s John Slyer, a science teacher at Shaker Junior High School in Latham.
They also organize the oldest continuously run off-road tri in the country, the SkyHigh XTERRA Off-Road Triathlon at Grafton Lakes State Park on Saturday, July 16. The event, which dates to 2000, attracts some out-of-state and Canadian athletes who are looking for points to help them qualify for XTERRA national and world championships. The popular SkyHigh Kids’ Triathlon (100-meter swim, 5K bike, 1K run) takes place later that morning. Learn more: skyhighadventures.com.
Two other popular August triathlons are the Old Forge Triathlon and the Crystal Lake Triathlon. On Sunday, August 14, the Old Forge Triathlon, presented by Enchanted Forest Water Safari, is an intermediate distance race in the Adirondacks that offers a 1,000-meter swim, 22-mile bike with rolling hills, and four-mile, flat and fast run. The run course will follow the new Tobie Trail and rural roads in the town of Webb.
Produced by ATC Endurance (Cooperstown and Delta Lake), the Old Forge Triathlon, now in its fifth year, is also a great bargain. If you register by July 31, it’s $75 with the bonus of a family pass to Enchanted Forest Water Safari. Visit: atcendurance.com.
The 16th annual Crystal Lake Triathlon on Saturday, August 20, is staged by the Capital District Triathlon Club, and is offering an aquabike option for the first time this year. Participants who register by July 8 will receive a sweatshirt with a newly designed race logo. The race often sells out at around 300, or nearly sells out. If it does not sell out this year, same-day registration will be offered for the first time in several years, according to first-year race director Antoinette Rose.
The Crystal Lake Tri, at Crystal Lake in Averill Park, is unquestionably the hardest sprint bike course in the region, contested over 18 miles of hill after grueling hill. The swim is an 800-meter rectangular course, and the run is 5K of flat to rolling hills around the lake. “If you’re looking for a challenging, shorter race, this is it,” said Antoinette, who joined the club four years ago, and has completed this race herself several times.
Another reason the Crystal Lake race is so popular, Antoinette explained, is that it is the weekly Tuesday night training venue for the Capital District Triathlon Club, making race day less stressful for many competitors. Under a reciprocal swim program initiated by club president Kenny Hart in 2015, the club’s open water swims are now available to members of other triathlon clubs in the area, affording triathletes more opportunities for safe, lifeguard-supported open water swimming, as well as for socializing and training with members of other clubs.
“The race appeals to those who train on the course on a regular basis, as a confirmation that the training has paid off,” said Antoinette. “When you see a personal best time in any of the three legs on race day, you know the work has been done.” Go to: cdtriclub.org.
Christine McKnight (email@example.com) is a Wilton resident who has completed more than 100 triathlons.