Ridgway Triathlon nears

This year marks the 30th year of the Ridgway Triathlon and officials are working to make this event the best one yet."This unique triathlon event combines three different competitive events into one of the most fun adventures of the area," said Mary Lynne Bellotti, executive director of the Ridgway YMCA. "Canoeing is not an event usually associated with triathlons across the country but the proximity of the Clarion River gave Dave Love, founder of the event 30 years ago, an idea to combine canoeing with the traditional events of running and biking to form this unique time-tested event."The Ridgway YMCA currently sponsors the event and officials are quick to point out that it's a special year. Bellotti announced recently that event organizers will be honoring Love prior to the start of the event."I have only been involved with the triathlon for a short period of time, approximately eight years," Bellotti said. "But it gives me great pride to be able to honor the founder of this event."This is a great community event as it brings individuals to our area from all over and I enjoy seeing these individuals coming back each year."The triathlon itself, besides having the usual class events for prizes, will also feature a “just-for-fun” category for beginners or those wanting to experience the excitement of participation in the triathlon but not wanting the pain of competition. In fact, this year, members of a wedding party are participating as part of the pre-ceremony fun.Although this year's event is tucked in between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, it promises to be bigger and better than ever. "In addition to the competition found in the triathlon itself, there will be fun for the family and younger children as well," Bellotti said. "The great 'Duck Race' will take place on Elk Creek and an Easter egg hunt on the Courthouse lawn. "With it being the day before Easter, we thought an added Easter egg hunt should be a must. When the gun starts the race, it will also start the egg hunt."A special appearance by the Easter Bunny will add that little something extra for the kids.