11th annual Issaquah Triathlon launches Saturday

Hundreds of athletes will take a plunge into Lake Sammamish Saturday when they compete in the 11th annual Issaquah Triathlon.

A competitor exits the water during the 2010 Issaquah Triathlon. The event will have its 11th go-around on Saturday

A competitor exits the water during the 2010 Issaquah Triathlon. The event will have its 11th go-around on Saturday

Hundreds of athletes will take a plunge into Lake Sammamish Saturday when they compete in the 11th annual Issaquah Triathlon.

Set once again at Lake Sammamish State Park, this year’s event also features a duathlon, 10K and 5K walk/run, and kid’s triathlon. The races are sponsored by Arbor Schools and attracts athletes from the seasoned tri pro to amateurs and families.

“It’s a really terrific series of races in a great venue,” said Mary O’Brien, Arbor Schools owner. “The park is perfect — nice flat terrain and beautiful landscape. There’s something for everyone. It’s a wonderful opportunity for seasoned tri athletes to kick off their seasons and yet it’s also a friendly event for first-timers. And of course the kids’ tri offers a great excuse for children to train, get fit and compete.”

This year, athletes from eastside and regional communities and from across the U.S. are expected to participate. In recent years the event has attracted more than 1,000 competitors.

The Sprint Distance Triathlon begins at 7 a.m. Competitors will swim the lake for a quarter-mile, bike 15 miles along the edge, then finish with a three-mile cross-country style run in the park.

The Sprint Duathlon occurs concurrently with the triathlon and is for athletes who just wish to cycle and run, but not get wet.

The 5K and 10K Run/Walk begins at 7 a.m. and winds through a variety of trail surfaces in the park

The Kids Triathlon begins at 10:30 a.m. and is recommended for ages 6 to 12. This year there are two versions of the kids’ tri — one for younger competitors (age 9 and under) and one for older kids (age 10-12). Both versions include a swim from Tibbet’s Beach, (floatation devices are allowed), a cycling course and a run course completely within the boundaries of the State Park so that families and friends can watch their young competitors along the way.

Entry fees range from $25-$85 and include awards for fastest male and female competitors in the adult races, finisher awards and event T-shirts.

Event proceeds fund books, computers, sports education, and scholarships for low-income students at Arbor Schools.

Community sponsors provide funding, merchandise and food.

“Many local businesses help make this Issaquah tradition a success each year,” O’Brien said. “We are so grateful for their support.”

To register online, or for more information, visit www.issaquahtri.com, email info@issaquahtri.com or call (425) 392-3866.

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