Mason Tri-Umphant Triathlon sees athletes of different skills and interests

Nathalie Schickendantz | Staff Writer

Sports can be a challenge, but combining three together can add a new level of difficulty.

On July 23, athletes spread across Ohio competed in the Mason’s Tri-Umphant Triathlon. The race began with a 400-meter swim or 5-kilometer run, transitions to a 20-kilometer bike ride around the city of Mason and finishes with a 5-kilometer run at Corwin M. Nixon Park. The triathlon was hosted to raise money for a playground construction by Mason Parks & Recreation Foundation.

The age of competitors ranged from seven to 50 years and above. Sally Corrigan, a 50-year-old runner from Lexington, marked this as her fifth completed triathlon. Corrigan said she appreciates the support of her teammates and trainers.

“I couldn’t do this — I couldn’t perform as well as I did today without my teammates,” Corrigan said. “We train together several times a week, and when you train with someone you just go faster and push harder.”

Kyle Kelly — a participant from Blue Ash and member of Bishop’s Bicycle crew — said he has competed around 15 triathlons and focuses on biking. Kelly said he enjoys the bike portion of the race and then tries to survive getting through the run.

“I’m primarily a specialist on the bike, so I train on the bike probably 12-15 hours a week and mix in a little bit of running and swimming in there too,” Kelly said. “Your legs feel kind of heavy because all the blood pumps into your quads, but you just kind of struggle through until you get into stride.”

For some participants, it was a challenge to get training into their daily schedules prior to the race, but they were glad they had after crossing the finish line. Mark Parker, a racer from Loveland, said he had to balance his work life with his love for running.

“It’s about working out everyday and then just a little something else — even if it’s just half an hour — and then doing long workouts on the weekends, long rides, long runs, and combining those things,” Parker said. “Obviously I’m not a professional athlete, I have to work, so trying to fit (training) in both during the week and on the weekend is just part of making a commitment.”

Not every participant had quite the race experience others had. 14-year-old Ryan Griffith said he has been wanting to race a triathlon with competitive effort for quite some time.

“I’ve been wanting to do one since I was five years old, but I’ve never had the time to do one — all my neighbors do them and said they’re really fun,” Griffith said. “You have to be focused, knowing you’re gonna win, just focus.”

The Tri-Umphant Triathlon attracted multiple returning racers who enjoy swimming, running and biking. Charli Geary said she had completed four triathlons by age ten and continues to race with strength.

“I just thought my favorite things were all in one, so why not try it,” Geary said. “I think of what’s ahead of me and not what’s behind me, and I can’t wait to come back next year.”

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Photos by Nathalie Schickendantz.