Organizers of this year’s Wyalusing North Branch Triathlon have chosen Saturday, Aug. 24 as race day. If there has been one constant about the North Branch Triathlon, it is change. This year’s event, a running / paddling / cycling test of man and/or woman, is no exception.
As anyone who has tried to drive around the area knows, road and bridge construction is in full swing.
The ongoing work on Wyalusing’s Rainbow Bridge will not affect the 3.6-mile run, which begins at the Wyalusing Valley High School, located at 11450 Wyalusing New Albany Rd. (SR2010), and ends at the Fish and Boat Commission’s boat ramp in Terrytown, nor the 4.5-mile paddle down the Susquehanna River to Endless Mountain Outfitters in Sugar Run.
However, scheduled PennDOT roadwork on Rt. 187 from Sugar Run to Stowell has forced organizers to make a major change in the cycling leg of the race.
Instead of the cyclists heading South on Rt. 187 to Stowell and turning around for the return trip to the finish line, which this year will again be at the high school (after finishing in Sugar Run in 2018 due to flood roadway damage), the route will be considerably shorter on local paved and dirt roads.
The cyclists will leave Endless Mountain Outfitters and make a quick left off Rt. 187 onto Quicks Bend Road. After 0.4 miles, they will turn left onto Mountain Road, which is a dirt road. They will then turn right onto Dietz Road (2.3 miles), left onto Morris Road (3.1 miles), right onto Dietz Road (4.7 miles) and a quick left onto Mountain Road again and return to Sugar Run onto Quicks Bend Road. They will then go back up Rt. 187 to the finish line at the high school.
The cycling course this year is 9.4 miles, compared to the 15.3-mile length of the old course to Stowell and back to the school. Barring any road construction in 2020 the cycling course will revert back to 15.3 miles.
For the record, this will be the sixth change in course since the triathlon’s inception in 2003.
Changes have been made through the years for safety reasons, road damage / construction and bridge construction.
Besides the individual Ironman and Ironwoman competitions, there will again be team trophies presented to the top male, female and mixed teams.
However, another change is a team can have no more than three members, excluding tandem canoes/kayaks or bicycles.
As always, all paddlers must wear personal flotation devices and all cyclists must wear a helmet.
The top three finishers in each of the individual age-group categories (19-under, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69 and 70-over) will receive medals.
Race-day registration will open at 7:30 a.m. at the Wyalusing Valley High School and closes at 8:30. A pre-race briefing will be held at 8:45. The race begins at 9 a.m.
Post-race water, bananas, bagels and a variety of sandwiches will be available free of charge to athletes.
Riverside Adventure Company from Danville, Pa. will conduct the chip timing.
This annual event is hosted by the Greater Wyalusing Chamber of Commerce and financially sponsored by area businesses and individuals.
Registration can be found online at www.active.com or mail a completed registration form and signed waiver to Greater Wyalusing Chamber of Commerce at PO Box 55, Wyalusing, Pa. 18853. The form can be downloaded from the wyalusingnorthbranchtriathlon.com website.