6th annual first responders triathlon hits Bethany this weekend

Coastal Point • File Photo : Bethany Beach FIrst Responders Tri-Du-Aquabike partcipants learn to enter and exit the ocean during training for the event back in 2013.Coastal Point • File Photo : Bethany Beach FIrst Responders Tri-Du-Aquabike partcipants learn to enter and exit the ocean during training for the event back in 2013.Athletes of all age and skill level will descend upon Bethany Beach this weekend for the 6th annual Bethany Beach First Responders Tri-Du-Aquabike.

The event was created to support the first responders of the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Department.

“All the proceeds go to the Bethany Beach first responders at Station 70,” said Race Director Rick Hundley, noting the event has raised close to $100,000 since its inception.

While the event itself will take place on Sunday, Sept. 24, with transition area opening at 5:30 a.m., activities will begin this Friday with a welcoming party at The Starboard in Dewey Beach.

On Saturday, Sept. 23, Multisport Strategy & Open Water Swim Clinic will be held from 2:30 to 5 p.m., with a first-timers meeting scheduled at 6 p.m. at the Bethany Beach fire hall that same evening. Participants can pick up their packets between 4 and 8 p.m.

Athletes will have the opportunity to compete in one of three races, featuring finishing medals, and overall, first-timers, masters, Clydesdale, Athena, First Responder and age-group awards.

Events include:

• The Triathlon — A 1,000-meter (.62-mile) ocean swim, 30K (18.5-mile) bike ride and 7K (4.35-mile) run.

• The Duathlon — A 1,000-meter (.62-mile) beach run, 30K (18.5-mile) bike ride and 7K (4.35-mile) run.

• The Aquabike — A 1,000-meter (.62-mile) ocean swim and 30K (18.5-mile) bike ride, followed by less than a quarter-mile run to the finish line.

“It’s a little bit of everything; we have something for everyone,” said Hundley. “We’ll have elite athletes and we’ll have first-timer athletes.”

The USA Triathlon Sanctioned event includes a 5k run/walk, with awards being given for Overall, Clydesdale, Athena, and Age Group Awards, “First Timers,” and Relays. All participants will receive a finishing medal.

Following the event, participants will be able to celebrate their hardcore athleticism with a post-race party featuring live music on the boardwalk, all-you-can-eat barbecue from Bethany Blues and complimentary brews from NKS Distributors at Mango’s.

Other event sponsors include, PNC Bank, Peninsula, Run & Tri, Gatorade, Wilgus Associates, D3, Mango’s, Creative Resource Group, Hyatt Place, The Starboard, 3rd Wave Brewing Co., Giant, Coastal Point, Delaware Wave, Baja Beach House Grill, The Dispatch, Delaware National Guard, The Southern Delaware Explorer, Bethany Blues, Halpern Eye Care, Law Offices of Scott and Schuman, pbv, Bethany Massage and Healing Arts, Dickey’s Frozen Custard, Deployable Systems, Southern Delaware Tourism, Sea Colony, New Eyes Productions, Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce, Hook ’Em & Cook ’Em, Cycling Center of Coastal Delaware, Delaware 105.9 FM, Eagle 97.7, Cool 101.3, the United States Air Force, and Bethany Beach Ocean Suites.

Hundley said they are currently seeking volunteers to help the day-of the event.

“This is a volunteer-rich event,” he said, noting that those who volunteer will receive a free shirt and get to partake in the after-party. “We’re a pretty fun group to volunteer for.”

Hundley said with the area growing in its number of residents and visitors, support for volunteer emergency responders is critical, and should be supported.

“These guys stay busy, in the summer months especially. They probably have more calls than most fire companies. Not only do they have to deal with everything every other fire company has to deal with, with fires and traffic accidents, we’ve got an ocean and an inlet,” he said. “It’s important.”

For more information about the annual Bethany Beach First Responders Tri-Du-Aquabike, to register or to volunteer, visit www.bethanybeachtri.com.