A triathlon returns to the Rock River
The Rock River flood in 2008 washed away the initial comeback, but this Saturday triathletes will gather in Janesville’s Traxler Park to compete in the Rock Roll ‘n’ Run sprint triathlon.
Beginning at 7 a.m., entrants will swim a half-mile in the Rock River, bike 14 miles and run a 5k race though downtown Janesville to the finsh line in Traxler.
The Janesville YMCA hosted the annual summer triathlon, but it lost momentum and was shelved after 2006.
Kitty Cole, of Janesville, was the director the old Janesville Triathlon for three years and has taken on the same responsibilities for the comeback edition.
“It’s been a labor of love,” said Cole, a health and wellness trainer. “We planned to have the triathlon in 2008 but the river flooded, and it took a while to get it back on track.’’
Cole is overwhelmed with the response to the event. Organizers originally hoped to have 75 entries, but as of Tuesday afternoon 160 entries are on file.
Entries are being accepted until today at midnight on active.com. or rockrollnrun.com. The individual entry fee is $50 and teams are $75.
“If we got 75 participants we’d be happy,” Cole said. “But we cracked 160, and entries are still coming.’’
Cole is optimistic the new triathlon will entertain 200 participants. At its height, the Janesville Triathlon attracted 360 participants.
Cole said it is important the Rock Roll ‘n’ Run organizers put on an efficient event. A well-run race will spread by word-of-mouth.
“Runners enter these races for a lot of reasons,” Cole said. “We have great shirt, swag in a draw string bag and good food.’’
Cole added there will be plenty of volunteers and boats and life guards to support the participants.
Proceeds from the Rock Roll ‘n’ Run will be donated to the Rock Aqua Jays to support their Fourth of July fireworks celebration in Traxler. The organizers are planning to sponsor a kid’s triathlon in 2011 with the funds.