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Cazenovia Triathlon: a runaway success

Participants of the 12th Annual Cazenovia Triathlon emerge from the shore of Lakeside Park after swimming the first leg of the competition on Aug. 12. During the race, the athletes swam biked and ran through Cazenovia. Mary Beth Romagnoli, a Cazenovia resident and recent Ironman contestant, crossed the finish line first among the women in the sprint-distance triathlon, with an official time of 1 hour, 20 minutes and 33 seconds.

Participants of the 12th Annual Cazenovia Triathlon emerge from the shore of Lakeside Park after swimming the first leg of the competition on Aug. 12. During the race, the athletes swam biked and ran through Cazenovia. Mary Beth Romagnoli, a Cazenovia resident and recent Ironman contestant, crossed the finish line first among the women in the sprint-distance triathlon, with an official time of 1 hour, 20 minutes and 33 seconds. Sam Sampere

— Five-hundred well-rounded athletes ran, swam and biked Sunday, Aug. 12 in the 12th Annual Cazenovia Triathlon.

The many triathletes were aided by more than 150 volunteers that kept them safe, hydrated and informed throughout the morning’s events.

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Triathletes begin the cycling portion of the 12th Annual Cazenovia Triathlon on Aug. 12. The race offers two different distances, sprint and Olympic, for participants of varying fitness levels. This year, more than 500 area athletes competed in the contest.

The race was split into two distances: sprint and Olympic. The sprint triathlon consists of an 800-meter swim, 22-kilometer bike and a 5K run, and the Olympic length triathlon consists of a 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike and 10K run. The Cazenovia Triathlon added the Olympic distance five years ago.

The winner of the sprint distance triathlon among women was Cazenovia’s own Mary Beth Romagnoli, with a time of 1 hour, 20 minutes and 33 seconds. Romagnoli also placed sixth overall in the sprint distance.

Carrie Stevens, a 22-year-old first-time triathlete and Cazenovia native, was enthused by the race, “I had such a blast,” she said. “It was really rewarding to put everything together and see how my training paid off — I couldn’t stop smiling.”

Stevens trained with the CNY Triathlon Club, which organized the event and also holds weekly swim-bike-run training sessions at several locations in the greater Syracuse area.

For Stevens, the Cazenovia Triathlon will be the first of many, “As soon as I crossed the finish line, I was totally hooked; three hours later, I signed up for my next triathlon. I’m doing the Skinnyman in Skaneateles on Sept. 1,” she said.

John Austin led the organization of the event for the sixth consecutive year. Among his priorities are ease of access for athletes and spectators, volunteer participation and logistics, but for him nothing ranks higher than athlete safety.

According to Austin, the swim leg of the triathlon, the most dangerous, leads the race. Before the athletes begin, they are placed in age groups and given color coded caps. This allows the race to begin in waves. “We try to run small waves. That is part of our safety plan,” Austin said.

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