WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — The YMCA Wrightsville Beach Sprint Triathlon will take place this weekend for its 42nd year.
Despite the impact of COVID-19, organizers say this event has seen more registrations than it has over the past 10 years, with more than 1,000 athletes signed up to race.
“Athletes are eager to get back and compete again,” says Tom Clifford, Race Director and owner of Without Limits. “Exercising outdoors has proven to be a safe and healthy way to stay active during the pandemic and we want to provide a safe and healthy way for athletes to come together and compete during this time.”
Last year, the YMCA Wrightsville Beach Sprint Triathlon was one of the first events to take place since the onset of the pandemic. The race was capped at just 400 athletes and many modifications were put into place to safely hold the event.
Although there are a larger number of athletes participating in this year’s event, many of the same modifications and safety practices will be enforced to keep people socially distanced and masked while not actively racing. All athletes, volunteers, and spectators will be required to wear a mask at all times with the exception of the race itself. Athletes will also be asked to complete health screening before race day.
“There have been many other outdoor events like this held safely and carefully and we are confident that we too can provide a safe event for athletes to be a part of, as long as everyone does their part,” says Clifford.
The YMCA Wrightsville Beach Triathlon will also include a Youth Triathlon event that will start when the final participant in the sprint event exits the water. The Youth Triathlon will include a 100m out and back open water swim, 4 mile bike, and a 1.6 mile run around the Wrightsville Beach Loop.
Proceeds from these events directly support the YMCA of Southeastern North Carolina’s Annual Campaign. Each year the YMCA raises funds for it’s Annual Campaign to provide scholarships for those who need the Y most. These scholarships give kids, families and adults the opportunity to pay YMCA program and membership fees that align to their household income so that everyone has the opportunity to be a part of the Y.
Pier-2-Pier Race Cancelled
Additionally, the YMCA’s Pier-2-Pier Race, which was originally scheduled to take place this Sunday has been cancelled due to the inability to secure the emergency personnel needed to hold the event. Pier-2-Pier participants were notified of the cancellation last week and provided with an option to participate in the swim portion of the YMCA’s Wrightsville Beach Sprint Triathlon on Saturday, as a final wave.
“While many of us are disappointed that the Pier-2-Pier race will not take place this year, we understand that our medical professionals are needed elsewhere. This is just another impact of COVID-19, and like all other things, we have adapted our plans so that swimmers can still have an opportunity to come out and race this weekend,” explains Sarah Gibbs, Marketing Director for the YMCA of Southeastern NC.
Important Dates and Times
- Friday 9/24 12:00pm-7:00pm, Packet Pick-Up at Wrightsville Beach Park
- Friday 9/24 4:00pm-7:30pm: (Recommended) Bike Check-In at Wrightsville Beach Park
- Saturday 9/25 5:00am-6:30am: Chip and Packet Pick-Up at Wrightsville Beach Park
- Saturday 9/25 7:00am: Sprint Triathlon race start
- Saturday 9/25 8:00am: Youth Triathlon race starts
- Saturday 9/25 10:00am: Awards ceremony
Race Day Traffic Notice
Bikers will be riding up Airlie Rd to Oleander, Greenville Loop, Pine Grove, back to Oleander to the beach from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Airlie and Oleander will be down to 1 lane of traffic and the intersections of Oleander and Greenville Loop will be slow traffic.