Everyone knows that carnival game Whack-A-Mole, right?
The one where you smack the mole on the head with the mallet only to have another one pop up in a different place?
Well, we at P3R are playing the triathlon-planning version of Whack-A-Mole.
Sorry we haven’t had more updates for you in recent weeks on preparations for this year’s Pittsburgh Triathlon. We’ve been waiting until we had things nailed down and could give you truly useful information, such as a course map and other details that could help you get excited about race weekend.
We’ve hit a few potholes in the last week (and we know Pittsburghers understand those), not the least of which was the unexpected news that the trail along the Allegheny River on which we planned to hold the runs for all races will soon be under construction. So now we’re redrafting the redraft of the course, trying to get approvals, ensuring that everything measures out and all the logistics work.
What we can tell you is that the proposed entry for the Olympic swim is at the Convention Center Riverfront Park. We are looking at docks that will allow for easy water entry. The tentative Sprint swim entry is on the North Shore near the water steps close to PNC Park – shuttle service would be provided to both. The bike course will still be on the HOV lanes with the turnaround at Perrysville Park and Ride but the entry point to the HOV will be changed to Reedsdale Street. We are going to have the HOV lane swept and marked too.
A few other challenges we’re also dealing with include working around another event being held in town that Saturday and how Friday packet pickup will work given that the Steelers are playing a preseason game at Heinz Field that same night.
What is for absolute certain is this: We are doing everything we can to make sure that you, the athletes, will have a great experience at this year’s Pittsburgh Triathlon. It won’t be perfect, at least not right away. We have a vision for the race moving forward, but our vision will require more financial backing than the triathlon currently has. We believe that will come with time, though, when sponsors and participants alike realize we are committed to making this event something everyone can be proud of and an event that showcases our beautiful city and amazing athletes, just as we were when we took over the marathon.
The silence on our end hasn’t been because we aren’t working. We’ve traveled to Ironman events to see how they do things, met with other triathlon organizers and met with members of the local triathlon community to learn as much as we can as quickly as we can about what it will take to make this the race that the city deserves.
Check back often, because we promise to fill you in on all the positive changes we’re making and everything you can expect come race weekend, including information about each leg of the race, water quality and monitoring and other ways we’re focusing on improving the overall athlete experience.
What we can promise you right now is this: This year’s Pittsburgh Triathlon will be safe, it will be clean and it will be well-organized. We understand if you’re cautiously optimistic, hesitant or even skeptical, but we look forward to proving to you, the triathlon community, that we care not only about this race and you but also the mission of giving back to the Friends of the Riverfront.
And now, we’re off to whack some more moles.