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Named for its flat and fast course, this Staten Island, N.Y. race offers both sprint triathlon and duathlon options. It’s a true local community race, where race director Joe Patanella’s unique enthusiasm and energy to put on a race in his old Staten Island neighborhood has kept athletes coming back for 12 years. “The Pancake has seen first-timers, former and future pro triathletes, wounded vets, grandmas and preteens cross the finish line with smiles that speak volumes,” says Laura Fucci who is part of the Green Brook Racing crew that puts on the race. The awards ceremony even stops so that athletes and fans can cheer the final racers to the finish line—each year, 750-1,000 athletes participate. The 2013 race was canceled due to Hurricane Sandy, but Patanella and other Green Brook Racing crew members helped several Staten Island homeowners clean up their homes following the devastation.
The course includes a perfect first ocean swim for beginners because the 0.25-mile swim in Raritan Bay is shallow, and athletes are never more than 25 yards off shore. The race also includes a pancake-flat 12-mile bike (three 4-mile loops) and an out-and-back 5K run. After the race, athletes are treated to (what else?!) a pancake breakfast, plus sugary treats like Twizzlers, Oreos and M&M’s, as well as hula-hoop contests, push-up contests and sit-up contests.
What: Patanella’s Pancake Triathlon and Duathlon
Where: Staten Island, N.Y.
When: June 7, 2014
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