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Ester Marsh column: Gearing up for the Buck Hurley Triathlon

We are one month away from our seventh annual Buck Hurley Triathlon, which is held Sunday, May 1. As I mention each year, I am humbled to be part of such amazing community effort. And without all this support, this race would not be possible. The Buck Hurley Triathlon has been established in honor and memory of Buck Hurley, who died too young. His parents’ hope is that this event becomes a race where people come from all over to compete in a well-run community event. They donate a substantial amount to be given to the winners and those who break course records. Also a special thank you to the main presenter of the Sprint Triathlon — Larry Cloninger of Cloninger Ford and Toyota of Salisbury — and the kids’ triathlon presenters Busby & Webb Orthodontics.

If this is your first triathlon or you are interested in participating in a triathlon, I will be explaining the race in detail below. You can also visit our Facebook page “Buck Hurley Triathlon” for course maps and updates.

Each participant will receive a participant medal. It is a big deal when you have accomplished this course and we want you to be rewarded for it. Once again, cash prizes for overall winners, Masters (ages 40+), top Rowan County athlete (excluded if you are a winner in the other cash prizes) and course records – overall (swim only, bike only or run only). With this exciting event does come some patience from our community who travels early Sunday morning on May 1. The swim starts at 7.30 a.m. and the first cyclist will be on the road 5 minutes after that.

We should be done around 9.30-10 a.m. You will always be able to get to your destination but there might be a slight delay or different route to get there, but we appreciate your understanding, patience and support. The Buck Hurley Triathlon is part of our annual campaign and all proceeds will go towards our youth, families and adults in need of financial assistance. The YMCA will never turn someone away due to inability to pay, because our annual campaign helps to sustain this program. The Buck Hurley Triathlon raised over $12,000 last year for this campaign. If you would like to make a donation to this great cause, please contact Laurie Ward at 704-216-9622 or email her at lward@rowanymca.org.

The Buck Hurley Triathlon logistics and workout examples:

The pool swim for the sprint is 300 yards, which is 12 lengths of the pool (each length is 25 yards). Your workouts should be at least 500 yards or more when you are able to do so. At this point, you should be able to swim more than 300 yards without stopping. To get speed, you could include interval training. For example, 25 yards as fast as you comfortably can do it, full recovery and do it again trying to stay as close to the first time as possible. Do this 10-15 times. When getting better, start decreasing rest time. You can do this the same workout with 50 yards. I think a pool swim is very exciting. When you sign up (at the YMCA or on Sportoften.com) you need to give a swim time. That swim time is used to place you accordingly. The fastest swimmer starts first and the next fastest starts second and so on. Your time does not start until you enter the pool which starts your time by a anklet you will be wearing that contains a computer chip. You “snake” your way through the pool. You start at our pool in lane 8 and go up, at the end you go under the lane line and go up and down lane 7, again go under lane line and go up and down lane 6. Continue this pattern until you finish lane 1 to the exit towards the transition area to get to your bike. To get ready for your bike, training on the road is quite tricky but doable if you ride with a group, find cycling friendly routes and wear bright colored clothes and a helmet. Cycling classes can get you in a good shape to ride the more than 10 miles for the Sprint distance. Cycling classes get you through a virtual workout with adding resistance simulating hills and include speed changes. The actual bike route for the Buck Hurley Triathlon Sprint will be coming out of the back of the Y on the Life Center Church side to Jake Alexander going towards the mall, turn right on Statesville Boulevard, right on Brenner and when you come to Jake Alexander Boulevard, turn right for your second and last loop. Each loop is 5 miles. On the second arrival to Jake, you will turn left to go back to the YMCA. You do need your own bike or borrow someone’s bike and the bike shop Skinny Wheels downtown Salisbury can assist you with this. They are also our bike support on race day and one of our sponsors. A helmet is mandatory. There are tri suits you can buy, which are a one- or two-piece bathing suit with a built-in bicycle pad. You can swim, bike and run in these suits. They are quite expensive and if you are not sure if you would do another triathlon, it’s an item that is not necessary. You can wear a bathing suit and pull over lightly padded cycling pants or compression shorts. For the men, you can swim in compression shorts and run in them or put running shorts over it and a T-shirt if you like. After your bike sprint, you will be coming into the transition area again and will be going for your run.

The Sprint run is a 5K and the same route as the St Patrick’s Day run held by the Salisbury Fire Department. From the back of Y, head towards Harris Teeter, behind Harris Teeter to the Greenway next to Brenner Avenue to Old Wilkesboro, turn right and left on Partee to a right on Monroe, right on Fulton, right on Lincolnton and coming back behind Life Center Church to the YMCA. In your run training, you should work your way up to 4-5 miles. If you can run outside that would be great but a treadmill can get you ready if that is your only option. Use a pre-programmed level that has different hills, again mimicking a run outside. At the finish line, your time will stop, and our wonderful volunteers will be retrieving the chips, giving you a medal, and before long, the tri times will be up. On the Mark Sports is doing our timing again. We use a 5 split system. That means the first split is the swim, the second split is the transition from swim to bike, the third split is the bike, the fourth split is the transition from bike to run and the fifth split is the run all added together for total time, but it shows you how you did on each part.

Entry for the Sprint right now is $60 (will go up April 16), and the kids races (7-8, 9-12, 13-14) are $35 and $10 for 6 and under. This exciting race with all our “peewees” is actually on Saturday, April 30, at 4 p.m. and is completely on YMCA property. Side wheels, three wheelers, water wings and parent support are all allowed. So don’t hesitate, sign up to compete or volunteer in The Buck Hurley Triathlon and get ready to “Buck up!”

Ester H Marsh Associate Executive Director JF Hurley Family YMCA

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