Derek Fox

DEREK FOX

Observer Columnist

Potentially, by the time you’ve read this, one, maybe even both events, might have taken place. 

This weekend, Aug. 2- 3, the Crossroads Youth and Adult Triathlons take place. The youth triathlon taking place on Friday and the adult triathlon taking place Saturday morning. 

Throughout the year, a committee of 12 people works diligently to coordinate these two events so that they run smoothly for our triathletes. I’m happy that I get to serve on this committee with such a great group of volunteers. The adult triathlon started over 10 years ago and was run mainly by an outside group that felt DeWitt and the surrounding areas could benefit from a triathlon. For the past three years, the DeWitt Crossroads Triathlon Committee has worked hard to fully take the reins for this event from the original group that was looking to pass them on to someone else. The 2019 event will be the first year that we take over the event fully on our own. It’s been a process to get to this point, but we are happy to have the events that we have.

Last year, we introduced the youth triathlon into the mix. We capped the event at 75 triathletes. With 2018 being our first year, we wanted to make sure that we had a good grasp on it before diving in way over our heads. Last year’s event was a great success. It consisted of three divisions. Senior (ages 12-15), Intermediate (ages 9-11) and Junior (ages 6-8). It takes place mainly at the DeWitt Aquatic Center and the park that adjoins next to it. The bike portion expands into the surrounding neighborhoods. It ran very smooth and we sold out in a matter of a couple weeks. This year we raised our cap on the youth event to 100. I’m happy to say that our youth event once again sold out quickly for 2019. 

As a committee, we are excited that area youth are participating in our event and are returning again this year along with some new youth triathletes. We plan to continue expanding the youth triathlon and keep building on it in the future. This year, we hosted “how to” sessions for any youth that wanted to obtain a better understanding of how a triathlon works. We had a great turnout at our three sessions and hope to offer this again next year. 

As our youth triathlon keeps growing, it is important for us as a committee to remain thankful for the adult triathlon. After all, this event brought us to the success that we have had with the youth triathlon. Our adult event sold out this year as well with 150 triathletes. The adult event consists of a 500-yard swim, 15-mile bike and 3.1-mile run. We have room to bump our cap up each year, so we hope to keep expanding with this event as well. Participants come from all over the immediate area as well as some from afar. It provides a great family weekend for both parents and their children who want to participate. 

It is equally import not to forget the many volunteers who help us put on these two successful events. Between the two events, there are over 175 volunteers that help coordinate participants, direct traffic, hand out race packets and answer questions that come up. If it wasn’t for our volunteers, we flat out couldn’t do it. If you’re a volunteer for one of the events and you’re reading this, THANK YOU. It means so much to our committee that you are willing to put aside time to help us out. Your time doesn’t go unnoticed and is very appreciated. 

If you’d like to participate in one of the triathlons next year or in future years, keep your eye out for information. They take place the first weekend in August each year.  They fill up fast, so act quickly.

Be sure to stop out and watch our event. Please be mindful of the road closures that allow our triathletes to participate safely, they do love having fans cheer them on though.