While a triathlon puts participants on the land for two-thirds of the event, the one being held Saturday, Oct. 5 by the Maunesha River Alliance (MRA) is focused on water. The Propel Dry Triathlon at Marshall Firemen’s Park will not only benefit the organization that wants to help keep the watershed clean but offer triathletes the opportunity to get a first-hand look at the Maunesha River.
People will be able to choose from three courses (short, intermediate and long) where they will kayak, bike and run/walk for a total of either 3, 19 or 29.5 miles. Pre-registration closed last week, but there will be same-day registration for $30, which includes a shirt (if available) or $25 for just the event. People are asked to register by 8:45 a.m. The triathlon will have staggered start times beginning at 9 a.m. Those who do not have a kayak may rent one on-site for $25. The triathlon is open to people ages 12 and older. The event will not be timed. More information can be found online at https://www.mauneshariveralliance.org.
MRA treasurer Jason Pitzner said the group decided to host the dry triathlon, named thusly because it does not involve swimming, as a way to help people realize how broad the watershed area surrounding the Maunesha River is.
“Our hope is that having bikers ride through the Maunesha watershed will really allow participants to see the river from a different perspective,” he said.
Pitzner explained the name of the dry triathlon, Propel, represents participants moving through the watershed in addition to capturing the essence of the season by conjuring up images of maple leaf helicopters and falling leaves.
For those who don’t want to take part in the paddling, pedaling or hitting the pavement, MRA secretary Ryan Frey said there are still ways to help raise money at Saturday’s event. The public is invited to come by Firemen’s Park to buy snacks and Hubbleton craft beer; any remaining Propel t-shirts will also be sold. Furthermore, people can come by to socialize with MRA members, triathlon participants and volunteers.
Frey mentioned the group is still seeking volunteers for Propel. Those interested in helping out can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Money raised during the triathlon will be used to purchase more water quality testing kits and the chemicals needed for the kits.
“The MRA cleanup crews use chainsaws, winches, canoes, and other equipment. That equipment needs to be maintained and it costs money to run most of it. And eventually there will be a time when new or more efficient tools and equipment is purchased,” Frey said.
Another possible use for the funds would be purchasing water trail signs along the river.
Additionally, Frey said the MRA would like to host at least two events each year, which would require insurance, permits and other upfront costs. The money raised by Propel could assist in offsetting those costs.
Pitzner said the organization raised $630 during its spring launch event and it will continue to be grateful for any support it receives.
Frey is thankful for the support MRA has received since starting to clean up the river in March, whether it be joining the organization, attending clean-up days, making a monetary donation or offering words of encouragement. He specifically mentioned the invaluable knowledge of Steve Falter of Capital Water Trails.