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St. Clair Shores, Grosse Pointes

July 24, 2012

Hundreds turn out for second Shores-Pointes Adventure Triathlon

By Jason Carmel Davis
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Farmington Hills resident Mary Michaels, in the foreground, and Clinton Township resident Julie Godon, behind Michaels, were two of nearly 300 people who participated in the second annual Shores-Pointe Adventure Triathlon July 21 in St. Clair Shores.
Grosse Pointe Woods resident Jennifer Cobb receives a gift of flowers from her husband, Jeremy Cobb, near the finish line during the second annual Shores-Pointes Adventure Triathlon July 21 in St. Clair Shores.
 

ST. CLAIR SHORES/GROSSE POINTES — On a picturesque July 21 morning, hundreds of people from all over metro Detroit converged on St. Clair Shores’ Blossom Heath Park to test their endurance and will in the second annual Shores-Pointes Adventure Triathlon.

An adventure triathlon, triathlon relay, duathlon and 5k run/walk were offered, with each event starting and ending at Blossom Heath Park.

At press time, 241 people signed up for the USA Triathlon-sanctioned event, according to triathlon coordinator and St. Clair Shores resident Lynda Charow. That number does not include those who signed up the day of the triathlon.

The triathlon drew 191 people in 2011, according to Charow, who said she instituted a 300-participant limit.

St. Clair Shores residents Dan and Laura Greene, and their daughter, Kim Hart of Grosse Pointe Woods, decided to take on the event for the first time and made it a family affair.

“Doing something like this was on my bucket list,” said Laura Greene, a bicycling enthusiast who with her daughter and husband spent seven weeks training for the competition.

“This is great to have in pretty much our backyard,” Hart said. “It’s a great venue, and I think it’s good so many people came out.”

A 2.1-mile kayak trek replaced the traditional swimming portion of a triathlon, making the second-year event a nice change from traditional races, according to Charow. The kayaking portion of the competition was followed by an 11.1-mile bike ride and a 5k run down Lake Shore/Jefferson in St. Clair Shores.

Awards were handed out in several age categories.

“I’m thrilled with the response that I have gotten not only from those that have chosen to participate, but those that are volunteering to help make this a safe and fun event,” said Charow, who became interested in triathlons about three years ago while she was helping a friend prepare for an event.

“I am not surprised by the popularity of the event. This race fills a gap in the type of races that were available.”

Beaumont Hospital and Grosse Pointe physician Philip Maharaj-Prasad was on hand in case competitors suffered injuries. He said most injuries occur in the training phase and added that competitors try to push on even after sustaining injury.

“In events like this, a lot of the injuries happen in transition phases — when they’re going from the water to their bikes or something like that — because they’re not paying attention, and they turn an ankle,” Maharaj-Prasad said.

“But overall, this is a great event for the community, and the competitors are having fun. (Beaumont) likes to be a part of events like this that support the community.”

Along with local residents and people from across Michigan, participants came from Indiana, Pennsylvania and Florida to test their endurance and grit in the event.

“Sometimes I get choked up when I hear the stories of the people that share their personal stories of why they are doing the race and how far they have come to take part in it,” said Charow, who has participated in a number of triathlons. “That’s not only in the distance sense, but in the physical training, as well.”

Bloomfield Hills resident Michael Kurkowski watched the event with great interest, as he is planning to compete in the 2013 installment. He said the kayaking portion sparked his interest.

“I’ve done half marathons and done some kayaking,” Kurkowski said. “I think it’d be fun to do something like this to see how tough it is.”

For the second year, proceeds from the event will go to the athletic departments at local high schools: Grosse Pointe North, Grosse Pointe South, St. Clair Shores Lakeview, St. Clair Shores Lake Shore and St. Clair Shores South Lake.

Proceed totals weren’t available at press time. Last year, each school received about $1,000.

St. Clair Shores resident Matt Murphy participated in the triathlon after his wife took part in the event in 2011.

“I thought, if she can do it, I know I can,” Murphy said. “It’s fun to do something different like this, and I really like that all the proceeds stay in the community because the schools need all the help they can get right now.”

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Jason Carmel Davis at jdavis@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1107. Twitter Follow Jason on Twitter.