Disneyland Women's Triathlon Lacks Water
|Photo by Rick Kent|
|An Amy Poehler look-alike crosses the finish line at the Trek Women Triathlon in Austin, Texas, where she had to get wet first.|
The caps are their's as the Trek Women Triathlon Series bills itself as "the ONLY women's triathlon series CREATED BY WOMEN, RUN BY WOMEN, EXCLUSIVELY FOR WOMEN." Nothing wrong with that. But it seems from our game-day broadcasting booth high in the sky over Anaheim that their triathlon at Disneyland Sunday morning is not a triathlon at all.
According to the course visible at Trek Women's website, the race begins at 7 a.m. on Main Street USA with a 1.5 mile run that winds past familiar park attractions and the backstage area the public rarely gets to see. Competitors then hop onto bikes for a 10-mile ride on two fast loops--and one small hill--in Anaheim. Finally, it's off the two-wheelers for a 2-mile run inside Disney's California Adventure park.
Uh, where's the swim? Part of a 10-city tour that began last month in Austin, Texas, the series shifts in July to Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin before moving on to Vermont, Florida, New York and Washington state for events that, according to each course layout, all feature swims.
In case you're wondering if the lack of water for the Anaheim event is tied to Disney legal concerns over liability, the Trek Women Triathlon Series stops Sept. 6 at Walt Disney World in Orlando, where the action begins with a half-mile swim.
Given the mysterious composition of the green liquid that covers the Finding Nemo ride, surrounds Tom Sawyer's Island and keeps Pirates of the Caribbean boats afloat, it's understandable race organizers would not want participants paddling in those Magic Kingdom waters. But surely something could have been done to import something that would maintain the triathlete purity of the event. Heck, someone raced boats in the concrete-channeled Santa Ana River next to the nearby Honda Center years ago.
Katie Timinsky, a New Jersey-based spokeswoman for the Trek Women Triathlon Series, confirmed that, "The swimming portion was eliminated because they had to drain the area in
which the ladies would swim."
And so, it is technically a biathlon--or whatever one calls a three-pronged event where two prongs feature running.
Without the wet stuff, the entry fee is $90, which organizers say is reasonable given these tough economic times. Entrants get a free admission ticket to the resort that can be used any time through Dec. 9. To mirror the national unemployment rate of 7 percent, 7 percent of the entrants in each race category divided by age and ability will be entered free so long as the individual can prove unemployment, although a $10 one-day insurance policy must be purchased by every competitor.
The Trek Women Triathlon Series is partnered with the nonprofit Survivor organization that supports those with past and present cancer diagnoses. The web link at the top of this post has more details about the series and Anaheim event.