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Book triathlon to benefit Scottdale Public Library

| Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Rachel Basinger | For The Independent-Observer
Members of the Bookworm Triathlon organization committee include, from left: David Bigley, Patti Miller, Mike Busato and Barry Whoric.

For the second year in a row, the Bookworm Triathlon, which benefits the Scottdale Public Library, will soon be winding its way through the borough.

Organizers of the event are excited to begin the registration process for those interested in participating in the July 20 event.

With the use of the Scottdale Community Pool for the swimming portion and dedicated planning out of routes for the biking and running portion, the triathlon will be an event that both beginners and veterans of the sport should enjoy.

The event came about last year as the Scottdale Public Library was looking at new and different fundraising ideas.

Library board secretary David Bigley said he actually shared the idea of creating a triathlon fundraiser with the rest of the board the year before, but the board was skeptical as to whether they could actually pull it off.

Last year, however, they agreed, and the plans were set in motion.

Mike Busato, a neighbor of Bigley's, has been involved in triathlons for more than 10 years and agreed to help library officials organize their very first one.

“Now that the first one is under our belt, we have a better understanding of what needs to be done this year, but last year was a good first year,” he said.

Library Director Patti Miller said the planning of the first event last year was “a terrific amount of work, but it ran very smoothly because we were meticulous in our planning.”

The triathlon started with the swimming portion at the Scottdale Community Pool. From there, participants moved on to the bike portion and then finished up in Loucks Park after running the 5K.

Busato said one of the changes this year is that the run will finish up at the Scottdale Gazebo Parklet right next to the library so all aspects of the event and both the start and finish will be centered right around the library.

Another change is that organizers will be using chip timing this year where each athlete will wear a microchip that provides computerized timing. Bike racks also will be brought in for the event this year as well.

“Last year, we felt it was very important to have a survey put in each of the athletes' bags,” said Miller. “Most of the responses we got back were very positive — they loved the course, the town and how things were run — but any suggestions that were made, we took to heart.”

If there was anything that the athlete really liked, they kept that in as part of the event this year. One suggestion was that they provide less foods with carbohydrates and more fruits to the athletes.

Busato said interested individuals can register to be a part of the triathlon at and clicking on the link for the Bookworm Triathlon.

Individuals also can access the library's website at and click on the triathlon link there.

Forms also can be picked up at the library, the Scottdale Community Pool and other local health and fitness clubs.

The cost to participate in the triathlon is $35 if the individual registers before July 6. The price jumps up to $40 if registering between July 6 and July 17 and the price then goes up to $50 after July 17 up until race day.

The day of the event, registration will open at 6 a.m. and participants can pick up their race packets and their electronic timing chip at that time as well.

The first wave of participants will take to the pool at 7:30 a.m.

Miller said the community came through last year with about 100 volunteers and she said those involved hope to have as many, if not more, for this year's event.

While the “Love Your Library” campaign is the top fundraiser the library has at this point, bringing in about $18,000 this year, Miller said the triathlon is already a contender.

“It looks like there's a chance we could even match the money raised through the ‘Love Your Library' campaign,” she said. “This event is bringing new people into our community and I think it's really a win-win for everyone.”

Rachel Basinger is a freelance writer.