9th annual race will benefit Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, local charities

Organizers get ready for 90-degree temps

The ninth annual Batavia Triathlon and Duathlon is gearing up for a balmy race Sunday as 800 athletes swim, bike and run a combined 19 miles in and around the city.

Sunday’s forecast calls for temperatures in the low 90s, according to AccuWeather. Erin Ruehrwein, triathlon spokeswoman, said the planning committees are prepared for any extreme temperatures and will be providing extra hydration for participants.

“We’re making sure we have plenty of water, sports drinks and ice on hand because athletes will be consuming more than usual,” she said.

The first triathlon participant will stride into Harold Hall Quarry Beach at 6:30 a.m., the rest following at 10-second intervals. Duathlon and triathlon relay participants will also begin at that time.

Main Street will be closed from 6:30 to 9:30 a.m. between Route 31 and Van Nortwick Avenue to accommodate cyclists. Other area streets will be affected, and increased travel times should be expected. These closures are predicted to last only until the adult races and the youth race begins.

The Kids Dash, which begins at 9:30 a.m., is a new addition to race day. Triathlon director Joe LoPresto said these 50- and 100-yard races are an extension of the triathlon’s mission.

“A triathlon is really about community at the end of the day,” he said. “It’s about people and sharing a relationship. Family is a big part of that.”

LoPresto, founder of Experience Triathlon, was named director of the Batavia Triathlon and Duathlon in December. He brought his coaching business, Experience Triathlon, on board as the triathlon’s title sponsor after having been associated with the race for most of its history. The business offered three different pre-race clinics, including a swim clinic at Quarry Beach, beginning in March to help first-time triathletes get acquainted with the race.

“The clinics show (participants) how to prepare for race day,” Ruehrwein said. “We get a lot of beginner triathletes and they find that to be extremely helpful … to get comfortable with the race’s setting and location.”

LoPresto said the event will continue its charitable mission to help the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the Batavia community.

“That’s been one of the great things about this race and one of the reasons (Experience Triathlon) has supported it over the past decade,” LoPresto said.

Local volunteers are also drawn to the event, Ruehrwein said, noting that 100 are utilized. The volunteers have duties ranging from setting up the course to handing out medals and staffing the post-race party.

Athletes are encouraged to stick around after their race for the celebration at the finish line, which is at Batavia’s city hall, 100 N. Island Ave. Local vendors will have food for sale, and Chicago radio station 101.9-FM The Mix will provide the musical backdrop for massages and physical therapy demonstrations. Those who donate a food item at the beginning of the race will receive a drink ticket.

While awards will be announced and prizes raffled off at the conclusion of the race, LoPresto said his main focus will be the positive experience of the triathlon.

“As a coach, I’ve noticed everyone wants a medal and wants to make good time, but really, when we cross the finish line, we feel good about ourselves and our accomplishments,” he said. “The finish line is always a great place to celebrate no matter the time.”

Race: There’ll be a celebration at finish line

Sunday’s Batavia Triathlon and Duathlon has 800 entrants, topping last year’s event by 200. High humidity is expected, according to AccuWeather, and race organizers say they’ll be prepared to provide extra hydration. Daily Herald file photo
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