Last call for Skaneateles athletes

Lace up your sneakers, swimsuit and volunteer vests.

Returning for its third year, the Skaneateles Labor Day Race Weekend, sponsored by Hand Held Products, will begin with the Skinnyman Triathlon at 8 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 1, followed by the Escape from the Judge One Mile Open Water Swim at 8 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 2 and finish with the SPLASH! Dash Kids' Fun Run at noon and the Skaneateles Labor Day Five Kilometer Road Race at 1 p.m. Monday, Sept. 3.

Skaneateles Labor Day 5K Road Race registrations are higher than in past years, according to event organizers. The 5K race is open for registration through race day. go to SkanRaces.com for more information including course maps.

The weekend begins with the Skinnyman Triathlon on Saturday, Sept. 1, already booked at 450 racers. In past years athletes from many parts of the U.S., Canada, and Europe swam, biked, and ran as spectators cheered. Experienced triathletes praised the event as one of the best organized. Sunday, Sept.2, the sold out "Escape from the Judge" will again offer 150 swimmers the chance to race one mile in open water from the Mid-Lakes Navigation boat Judge Ben Wiles to Clift Park. Both events are USA Triathlon (USAT) certified. Monday, Sept. 3 will bring the newly shortened Skaneateles Labor Day 5K Road Race and the Splash! Dash Kids Fun Run. The USA Track and Field (USATF) certified 5K will still lead the famous Skaneateles Volunteer Firemen's parade, but now finishes at the amazing Skaneateles Volunteer Firemen's Field Days.

This year brings changes recommended by past participants. The Skinnyman Triathlon opened registration to a few teams of three participants as a trial. Each athlete will complete one of the three legs of the race: Swimming, biking, or running. Their combined time will determine their team standing. Individual triathlete competition remains unchanged as the central focus of the event. The Skaneateles Labor Day race is shortened from five miles to five kilometers and the finish is moved to Austin Park at the heart of the Labor Day festivities. Families can cheer their runners and celebrate at the Skaneateles Volunteer Firemen's Field Days. Many runners expressed interest in a shorter race to encourage first time runners while still offering a distance challenging to experienced runners. The SPLASH! Dash (ages 4- 12) start is moved earlier to finish before the start of the 5K race and parade. Dashers can cheer those running the 5K and still watch the parade from start to finish. All events offer accessibility for first time competitors and challenge for veteran athletes.

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