Triathlon Triumphant

27 youths participated in the first ever Pawling Youth Triathlon

Josh Arden was triumphant for the second year in a row.

On the morning of Saturday, July 13, athletes from far and wide gathered at Lakeside Park to participate in the 32nd Annual Pawling Triathlon. This year would see a new addition to the event with the first ever Youth Triathlon. In total, more than 200 participants came out to swim, bike, and run through Lakeside Park and the Pawling community in a bid to claim victory in one of the community’s most anticipated athletic competitions.

The 32nd adult triathlon featured a total of 192 athletes. The course began with competitors rushing into the waters of Green Mountain Lake for a .3 mile swim. Once they completed the aquatic portion of the race, participants raced across the beach and mounted their bikes for a 12 mile ride around Pawling, eventually returning to Lakeside Park for a 3 mile run to the finish line.

This year’s adult triathlon was won by Josh Arden, 37, of Poughquag who finished with a time of 57:53.6. Arden’s accomplishment is doubly impressive as he also finished first in last year’s Pawling Triathlon. When asked his key to victory, he said “staying steady on the bike, there are some creepy hills that you don’t really pay attention to. I knew the run was going to be my best leg, so I saved a little on the bike so I could push it and pull a fast pace on the run. I usually do longer distances, but the sprints are more fun.”

Participants started the triathlon by diving into Green Mountain Lake.

Coming in second was Ryan Tober, 22, of Malone, NY. Tober finished with a time of 59:36.8. “The run is a bit sneaky, its pretty hilly and those hills wound up getting to me, and Josh wound up passing me,” he said. “But it was a great course overall.”

Later that day, the next generation of athletes were given there chance to shine, albeit on a shorter, modified course. The Pawling Youth Triathlon featured two groups, 9 and under and 10 years and over. The younger competitors would swim for 75 yards, bike for 1 mile, and run for a half mile, while the older group would swim for 125 yards, bike for 2 miles, and run for one mile to complete the course. In total, 27 youths came out to participate.

The 10 and over group saw Citrus Triplett emerge triumphant, with a time of of 20:03.1, followed by Lucas Walsh at 21:30.0. The younger group was won by Elizabeth Walsh with a time of 13:18.7, with Spencer Paley-Sitko finishing second at 14:18.4. All official timing for the event was provided by PR Timing.

Senator Peter Harckham presented

special athletic certificates to the athletes.

The Youth Triathlon was enjoyed by all who participated, and ended on a heartfelt note of sportsmanship when the final competitor was joined by several of her friends who ran alongside her as she crossed the finish line to cheers from the crowd. “This was a testament to the strength of the next generation when faced with a challenge,” said Race Director Jessica Dickinson. “The special camaraderie between the young athletes as they supported each other brought us all to tears at the finish line and it was something I’ll never forget.”

Following there completion of the youth triathlon, participants were greeted by Senator Peter Harckham, who presented each competitor with a special athletic certificates for the New York State Senate Office. “This was a really remarkable event,” said Senator Harckham. “When adults do triathlons it’s crazy enough, but when a bunch of folks your age do it, it’s really remarkable. We are so proud of you, this is a really cool thing that you did.”

This year’s incarnation of the Pawling Triathlon marked Recreation Director Jessica Dickinson’s first time running the event. “Being the new race director for this Pawling Triathlon, I’ve certainly found a new respect for this sport and it’s athletes,” she said. “I am honored by their acceptance of my leadership and a few changes, which included a unicorn in the lake! So many people pulled together to execute this race safely and effectively including our amazing staff and volunteers. I am grateful for their experience and willingness to sacrifice long hours and flexibility to jump in where needed.”