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More than 100 participate in Scottdale Bookworm Triathlon

| Monday, July 22, 2013, 12:36 a.m.
Marilyn Forbes | For the Daily Courier
Competitor Debby Connor of Dunbar had a strong showing in last year's Scottdale triathlon. She was part of one of the first groups to participate in the swimming competition on Saturday, July 20, 2013.
Marilyn Forbes | For the Daiy Courier
Having finished the swim segment of Scottdale's Triathlon on Saturday, July 20, 2013, Scott Provance of Connellsville was required to walk his bicycle to the starting line, where he then took part in the second segment which was riding.

Testing endurance and strength while braving the elements, participants in the Scottdale Bookworm Triathlon ran and biked under a cover of rain.

But the athletes said they still enjoyed the event, which was held Saturday as a fundraiser for the Scottdale Public Library.

“We wanted to do something that was different then just your traditional fundraiser,” said Patricia Miller, Scottdale library director. “This is an event that now brings new people to the area and is also a combination of body, mind and spirit. This is all-encompassing.”

The event is in its second year and the numbers were up by 30 percent over last year's triathlon which drew about 65.

“We have over 100 and they were still registering this morning,” Miller said. “It's a really great turnout and we couldn't be happier.”

Competitors first hit the water at the Scottdale pool, did their laps and then hopped on bicycles.

After completing the bike ride, the athletes hit the streets and bike trails for the running portion. Participants than returned back to the starting point, outside the library.

The event was divided into different categories of “sprint,” in which the participants were required to swim 12 lengths of the pool, bike 13 miles and finish with a 5K; and the “supersprint” in which competitors swam for six lengths of the pool, biked 7.5 miles then finished with a 2-mile run.

There was also a relay offered for two or three-person teams.

Because of the limited amount of space in the swimming pool, competitors started the event in “waves,” having small groups hit the pool every 10 minutes, then proceeding on to finish the course.

Race director Mike Busato, a triathlon athlete himself, designed the course to be both fun yet challenging.

“The swim segment is about average and the biking is standard but we do have some challenging hills,” Busato said. “We wanted to make it a good run for everyone and these competitors vary in their experience.”

Competitors as young as Joselyn Busato, 11, of Scottdale competed along with her brother Alex Busato, 13. The pair are veterans of triathlons.

“I've been in seven or eight before, and I competed in this one last year,” Alex Busato said. “My sister and I are on a swim team and we rode the bike part over the past couple days.”

Athletes came from all over the area, with a few even coming from parts of Ohio and West Virginia.

“I think this was awesome,” said competitor Shelby Zelinski of Glendale, W.Va. “It was a good course and they did a really good job with everything.”

Zelinski said the atmosphere was also an added plus to her positive experience.

Proceeds from the event will go to the library fund. Miller said the funds may be earmarked towards the purchase of automatic doors at the entrance of the library.

“We are now seeing more and more people in wheelchairs or those Hoverounds and mothers with strollers or double strollers,” Miller said. “It would be so much easier for them so that is what we are planning.”

Miller said the event committee met all year to plan the triathlon . More than 100 volunteers helped with Saturday's competition.

“The library has again been blessed,” Miller said. “We are so fortunate to have so many people from the community who are willing to help. This has just been wonderful.”

New to the event this year was chip timing in which all of the competitors wore special timers which then automatically fed their times to Runner's High.

Winning entrants will be announced on the website at www.runhigh.com.

Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer.

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