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Hub City club members want area to try 'tri' again

August 29, 2007|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

HAGERSTOWN - If you "splash, mash and dash," this club's for you.

The Hub City Triathlon Club is a new outlet for those who swim (splash), ride a bicycle (mash) and run (dash) - all in one outing.

The club's goal is to build a good atmosphere for training and camaraderie, coordinator Karrie Amann of Hagerstown said.

The club is connected to a triathlon that debuted last month.

Ken Racine of Williamsport said he and other enthusiasts organized the race because Washington County was without one.

Hagerstown Community College's annual Hawk Triathlon at Greenbrier State Park was the area's last. It started in 1985 and stopped in 2001, HCC spokeswoman Heather Barnhart said.

Racine said he hopes a new tradition begins with the Hagerstown Sprint Triathlon.

Racine, the race director, and Amann said they've gotten a greater response than they expected.

"No race director ever counts on selling out in the first year," he said.

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Out of more than 320 entries in last month's adult and children's triathlons at Martin L. "Marty" Snook Memorial Park in Halfway, Racine said, 30 percent were from the Hagerstown area.

Racine, 41, said he was living in Columbia, Md., in his early 20s, when he competed in two Hawk Triathlons.

He also lived in the South for a while, then moved to the Hagerstown area about five years ago.

He decided last November "the time was right" to start another triathlon. "Literally, it was a dream of mine," he said.

To sluggards and slackers, a triathlon might sound like a nightmare.

The adult version of the Hagerstown Sprint Triathlon started with 300 meters in the pool. Next was 11.5 miles of bike riding. Last was a 3.1-mile run.

The children's race was 100 meters of swimming, two miles of biking and a run of .75 miles.

Full-fledged triathlons can be several times more grueling. The Ironman World Championship, for example, has a 2.4-mile swim, then a 112-mile bike ride, then a 26.2-mile run.

Racine describes his interest in triathlons as a commitment to healthy living.

"I have a motto: Fitness for life," he said. "You have to stay in good discipline and good health.

"On the competitive side, I've not found any sport to be more friendly and open to new athletes."

Racine - who figures he's been in more than 20 triathlons - said it's thrilling to push his body farther than it wants to go. "Every single time I cross the finish line, it's emotional," he said.

Not long after Amann registered for the race, organizers handed her the responsibility of running the club.

The club has had two meetings. Already, about 30 people from the Tri-State area have joined.

Amann, 31, hopes she can inspire women, especially, to push themselves athletically.

Amann took up running in 1994 at Frostburg State University. She remembers having to walk or run three miles for physical education class.

She eventually got herself in good enough shape to run a marathon - the Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon in Phoenix - last year.

She has completed three triathlons, and she likes Racine's description of exertion as a way of life.

"Working out gives me a feeling of confidence," she said.

Racine said there might be more "multisport" events beyond the summer triathlon - maybe even a second triathlon during the year.

"We want people to recognize that the sport is in the community," Amann said.

Race organizers are spreading proceeds from the triathlons among local causes.

The Literacy Council of Washington County received $2,500 from the first race.




Club meeting



The Hub City Triathlon Club will have its next meeting Sept. 11 at 7 p.m. at Hub City Sports, 35 N. Prospect St., Hagerstown.

Karrie Amann, the club's coordinator, can be reached at 240-291-0787 or trigirlkaa@yahoo.com.

The club's Web site - www.hubcitytriclub.com - lists information about the triathlon that debuted last month in Halfway.

Race Director Ken Racine can be reached at kracine@myactv.net.

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