LEHMAN TOWNSHIP — Hundreds of athletes tested their mettle today in the Wilkes-Barre Triathlon, held in the back mountain of Luzerne County.
It’s the kind of hometown race that gives competitors a chance to run, bike and swim in and around Harveys Lake.
The athletes were out of the water, nd on two wheels when we caught up with them near Dallas.
With the swimming portion of the 32nd Wilkes-Barre triathlon over, the triathletes were pedaling on the road course, looking to reach the finish fast.
There was encouragement along the way, and finally, it was time for the bikers to turn into runners.
“It’s a great race. Wilkes-Barre put on a great race. This is the first year they did the sprint distance. It will bring in beginners who don’t think they can do the whole Olympic.” said Nick Hetro of Frederick of Maryland.
Athletes who’ve done triathlons before believe this race could entice more locals to compete.
“I usually ride flat courses so almost like running a roller coaster, there were a lot of rest periods, and short steep climbs, but in the end it was a lot of fun,” said Steven Brush of Scranton.
For Martin and Keely Seybold of Lake Ariel, this was the couple’s first triathlon. They trained together and wanted to race together.
“We wanted to start it together, but the females start three minutes before the males, but it ended up Martin caught me on the end, and so we ended up we did finish it together,” said Keely Seybold of Lake Ariel.
By the end of the race first-timers were glad they trained for the triathlon, one that’s in their backyard.
“I was into marathoning, and I wanted to give a triathlon a try, a local race so close to home so figured why not,” said Sarah Leskosky of Drums.
For the pros, they know exactly why they keep coming back, to swim, bike, and run the Wilkes-Barre Triathlon.
“I do the race every year, so it’s like an annual tradition. I feel like I’m with family and all my friends are here,” said Liza prokop of Wilkes-Barre.
Organizers said about one quarter of all the triathletes in the race are from our area.
The majority make the trip from New England and other parts of Pennsylvania and surrounding states.