Has time run out on Beaver Lake Triathlon?

June 24, 2014

By Peter Clark

After 20 years, the Beaver Lake Triathlon might have met its end.

Former triathlon Director Debbie Dodd confirmed that the race, with its quarter-mile swim, 13.8-mile bike ride and 4.3-mile run, would not take place this year on its usual third weekend in August.

“I had done it the last couple of years, and it was just too much to handle for one person,” Dodd said. “There was just too much responsibility for just one director.”

After her decision to step down, she said a few organizations considered handling the event, but none were able to find the resources to carry the race on for its 21st year.

Mark Stendal, president of the Beaver Lake Community Club, who presents the race, agreed the planning did not come together for a 2014 triathlon.

“It’s a combination of a lot of differing things coming together,” he said. “We just got so late in the year, we were kind of left in a little bit in a lurch.”

Stendal said the Beaver Lake Triathlon began when there were few races of its kind to be found in the region.

“Over the last two decades, it’s just exploded,” he said. “It’s just become more and more difficult to not lose money with that kind of competition.”

Instead, he focused on the support the community has shown for the event, which helped fund the Beaver Lake Community Club’s nonprofit wing, Friends of Beaver Lake. Money earned through the triathlon would go toward protecting the watershed and keeping the lake clean.

“We’ve had 20 successful years,” he said. “It’s been fantastic for the community. It’s been a positive competition for everyone around the lake.”

However, the plateau might not have seen the last of the Beaver Lake Triathlon.

“It’s possible it may come back next year,” Dodd said. “Hopefully that’s the case. People are sad to see it go.”

She also clarified that an accident during last year’s race on Duthie Hill Road did not affect the decision to cancel this year’s race.

“There was a bad bicycle accident last year, but that didn’t have anything to do with it,” she said.

Stendal said though a lot of people are interested in holding the event next year, no official work has been done for a 2015 race. Still, he’s not counting it out quite yet.

“Every show has a closing night and this may be ours,” he said. “But secretly, a lot of people think we’re going to bring it back and no one would be happier about that than me.”

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