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West Kittanning woman to compete in YMCA triathoon

Bill Shirley | For The Leader Times
Carly Cowan of West Kittanning works out on her favorite stationary bike in preparation for competing in the first triathlon to be held Saturday at the Richard G. Synder YMCA Campus since opening in May. Cowan along with other adult competitors will run a 5K beginning in front of the YMCA on N. Water Street, then immediately swim 300 yards in the facility's pool before a 10K bike race along the nearby Armstrong Trail. Thursday March 14, 2013.

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By Tim Karan
Friday, March 15, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

Carly Cowan can't resist a challenge and, this weekend, the YMCA is presenting her with a brand new one.

Cowan, 30, of West Kittanning, along with many others will be competing in the first triathlon to be held at the Richard G. Snyder YMCA Campus since opening in May. Adults will compete Saturday and kids 14 and younger will compete in an abbreviated version on Sunday.

“This is the first of these types of events that has been offered in our local area,” said Cowan. “I thought it sounded neat when I heard about it and I figured I'd give it a shot.”

Although she said she's participated in several 5K and 10K runs from Ford City to Freeport during the past five years, Cowan hasn't faced anything like this. Adult competitors will run a 5K beginning in front of the YMCA on North Water Street, then immediately swim 300 yards in the facility's pool before a 10K bike race along the nearby Armstrong Trail. Children will run one mile, swim 100 yards, then bike 5K.

To prepare for what could be a grueling race, Cowan said she's had to increasingly push herself in training.

“I've been doing all the events in the triathlon,” she said. “I just try to do it a little faster or go a little further every time. I'm not really trying to win because I don't really think it's going to happen. But I'd like to finish in under an hour.”

Bethany Riggle, special events coordinator for the YMCA, said there will be some fierce competition.

“(As of earlier in the week) we've had about 15 adults and 15 kids sign up and we've heard that a few running clubs with 25 people each might plan to register the day of the race,” she said. “I've heard 50 to 60 sign-ups is good, and that's about how many we could have if everybody shows up.”

Registration both days begins at 7:30 a.m. with the triathlons kicking off at 9 a.m. The cost is $50 for adults, $30 for kids.

Even if you aren't quite ready to compete this year, Riggle encourages everyone to come to the YMCA to watch.

“It'll be a great opportunity to see if it's something you'd want to get involved in,” she said. “Hopefully next year we'll have even more participants.”

Cowan, however, is currently focused on this weekend's event.

“I hope a lot of people show up,” she said. “I'd like to see how I rank among people who do triathlons more often. “

In fact, there's only one aspect that's really got her nervous.

“The hardest part will probably be going from swimming to biking,” she said. “Then trying to ride a bike in a wet bathing suit.”

Tim Karan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303 or tkaran@tribweb.com.

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