North Shore preps for Pittsburgh Triathlon weekend
Past Pittsburgh Triathlon winners Eric Angstadt and Colin Gundling were on a training ride last weekend with friend and Ironman veteran Chad Holderbaum, another previous champion.
The subject of Sunday's international distance race along the North Shore arose, and Gundling and Angstadt tried to talk their friend into competing. They got their wish. The trio whose names consistently appeared in the top five during the past five years will go head to head again Sunday.
“It will be the battle of past champions, I guess,” Gundling said. “Now I'm not sure (getting Holderbaum to sign up) was a good idea. It will be nice and competitive, though.”
Angstadt of Ohio Township beat Gundling by 29 seconds last year to win after finishing second in 2010 and 2011. Holderbaum of Irwin was second in 2012 and won it in 2011. Gundling of Murrysville was third in 2012 and won it in 2009.
The triathlon, in its 17th year, consists of three separate races over two days. Saturday is the sprint distance race — a 600-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike ride and 5K run — as well as the adventure race, which has the same distance bike and run but substitutes a two-mile kayak or canoe paddle for the swim.
Sunday's race is the international distance triathlon: a 1,500-meter swim, 40K bike leg and a 10K run. The swim and paddle legs take place in the Allegheny River, the bike portion utilizes the HOV lanes of Interstate 279, and the run goes along the North Shore segment of the Three Rivers Heritage Trail.
About 775 competitors were registered for the two days of racing as of late this week, about half the size of last year's total.
The weekend serves as the largest fundraiser for nonprofit Friends of the Riverfront.
“Now that the Great Allegheny Passage is done, a lot of our attention has turned toward the Allegheny corridor of the Erie-to-Pittsburgh trail,” said Friends of the Riverfront executive director Tom Baxter. “We're working right now in Etna, Aspinwall and O'Hara Township to build new sections of trail that hopefully will be done within the next year.”