Maxing out at 900 athletes (including relays), the Wyckoff Franklin Lakes Triathlon, put on by the local Wyckoff YMCA, will be running for the 32nd year this summer, making it one of the largest and longest-running sprint-distance triathlons in the tri-state area.
“I can name a number of reasons why I feel our race has withstood the test of time and the highs and lows of triathlon interest,” says Bryan McDonnell, the Y’s multisport specialist. He believes the race has become a community event and tradition, drawing more than 200 volunteers; that the race has a superb attention to detail and logistics (personalized race bibs, top-notch awards, well-marked course); and finally all of the proceeds go back to those in need. “As a non-profit organization, we are in the ‘business’ of giving back, and this race has been the marquee event for our cause,” McDonnell says. “As an athlete myself, it’s great to know that my entry fee is going to a worthwhile cause.”
The scenic course is also a draw for athletes, but not necessarily beginners—it’s fairly challenging. “The bike has more than 700 feet of climbing and the run has a very long hill included,” McDonnell says. Also, the distances (half-mile swim, 17-mile bike and 5-mile run) are longer than a typical sprint race. However, the beautiful, calm lake swim to start, plus beautiful views during each leg of the race keep locals coming back year after year.
The Wyckoff YMCA also puts on a Lap the Lake Open-Water Swim the week before the triathlon (June 7, 2014)–options are 0.5-mile, 1.2-mile or 2.4-mile swim. And they’ll be putting on the Franklin Lakes Scenic Half-Marathon and 5K on Sept. 28, 2014.
What: Wyckoff Franklin Lakes Triathlon
Where: Indian Trail Club, Franklin Lakes, N.J.
When: June 14, 2014
Distance: ½-mile swim, 17-mile bike and 5-mile run
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