There will be not one, but two triathlons this weekend in Delaware.
First up is the 35th annual Dave Staley Triathlon and Youth Triathlon, which begins at 7:30 a.m. Saturday. The event is named after Staley, a retired Ohio Wesleyan University professor and longtime athlete.
“Dave Staley is geared more towards those individuals who may be new to triathlons, or looking for a less-competitive event,” said Craig Thompson, founder of Lewis Center-based Greenswell, whose company organized both events. “What’s exciting is the event had 25 participants last year, and this year it’s 125.”
Thompson said the Staley triathlon used to have the adults take to the course on one weekend, and the youth the next. Now, however, both will be held on the same day at separate times, with the youth events taking place first so parents can cheer on their kids.
“The goal is to create a better experience by combining the events and making them more of a family experience,” he said.
There are three different distances for youth ages 6 to 12 to take part in; and people 13 and older will swim 500 meters, bicycle 13 miles and run 3.1 miles. The event starts at the Jack Florance Pool in Mingo Park; with the bike course heading up to Leonardsburg Road before returning to Mingo for the run along Lincoln Avenue, Liberty Street, Fountain Avenue and Franklin Street. The youth course stays entirely in Mingo Park.
The second annual Mingo Man Duathlon and Triathlon will start at 7:30 a.m. Sunday.
“The Mingo Man will attract those individuals who have done several triathlons and are looking for a more competitive event,” Thompson said.
The Mingo Man will have longer distances than the Staley Triathlon, in either “sprint” or “Olympic” formats. The longer Olympic distance is a .90-mile swim, a 25-mile bike ride and a 6.2-mile run. Instead of the pool, the Mingo Man starts in the open water at Delaware State Park; rides down U.S. 42 to Mingo Park; and runs along Lincoln, Euclid and Pennsylvania avenues before turning down Liberty and heading back to the park.
No city streets will be closed, but police will help contestants through busy intersections and there may be some no parking signs placed along some streets for the runners’ safety.
Thompson is urging those who want to compete to register online. The Greenswell site — http://greenswell.com/events — links to both triathlons and other athletic events.
“We encourage people to come out early Saturday morning and then Sunday morning to cheer the athletes who are participating,” Thompson said. “It’s going to be a pure multi-sport weekend in Delaware.”
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.