Director Meehan makes North Park Triathlon family affair
The Janney and the Y North Park Triathlon took place July 27-28 at North Park, and for the ninth consecutive year, Matt Meehan kept the event humming as director of both the kids’ competition Saturday and the adult competition Sunday.
Meehan’s journey as the race’s director began in 2006 as local interest started to build in assembling a triathlon event for kids. The adult version of the North Park triathlon wouldn’t come to fruition until 2010, but when the eventual sponsor of the kids’ event, Habitat for Humanity, came calling, Meehan showed little hesitation.
“It was 2005, and my wife and I had just been discussing how nice it’d be to direct a race,” Meehan said.
“Right around that time, it was being mentioned that Habitat for Humanity was looking to start up a race in North Park. They got my name from someone and reached out to me, and I said OK. And that’s what started it all in 2006 with the first kid’s triathlon here.”
Ever since then, Meehan’s commitment has not wavered. He has maintained his position as director and has incorporated his family into the race.
Meehan’s wife, Becky, assumed a volunteer role in helping organize the event, and his children, Mike, Dan and Ally, have participated in the triathlon. Meehan said he wouldn’t have it any other way as organizing and competing in triathlons have allowed his family to strengthen their bond over their shared love for the sport.
“The last time that I went to a race in which I did not go with, or compete with, one of my kids was some time before August 1997. It may have very well been even before then,” Meehan said.
“I almost always go with the kids these days. They’ve done some very good things in the sport, and it’s been great to experience it together.”
Meehan said he also devotes a substantial amount of time to orchestrating the event because he has a passion for triathlons and hopes his efforts will help grow interest in the sport.
“I’ve been doing triathlons since 1983. Putting on this race helps the community and helps the sport. I think it’s a good event,” Meehan said.
“I’m all about making the sport bigger, especially in this area. I would love to see the Pittsburgh Triathlon come back some day. Our event is great, and I hope it continues to grow and gets even bigger in the future.”
Kevin Lohman is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.