BETHLEHEM A new partnership between the Town of Bethlehem and the YMCA is aimed at promoting a healthier lifestyle for residents, and the result is what many hope will become another athletic tradition for the community.
On Sunday, April 22, the first Delmar Duathlon will be held in Elm Avenue Park. The race consists of a 2-mile run within the park, a 10-mile bike ride through town and ends with another 2-mile run back through the park.
“When we first came up with the idea we were supposed to do a triathlon, but we don’t really have a nice body of water to swim in around here,” said Mark Thurman, wellness director of the Bethlehem YMCA and co-race director along with Jason Gallo, the town’s Parks and Recreation Department’s assistant administrator.
Thurman said the Y has been trying to find a project to partner with the town on for years. This event seemed like the best fit.
“It’s no secret there are loads of active and health minded people in our community,” Thurman said.
According to Thurman, the Bethlehem YMCA and the town have never put together a duathlon or a race, so a committee of eight residents was formed with unique backgrounds in running and racing to help organize the event.
“We wanted to focus on doing something simple,” said Thurman. “We wanted to make this something anyone could do and encourage them to get moving and keep active.”
Those who organized the race said the route was made to attract novices and people who will be training for more serious types of races, like future triathlons. Although the race is not a USA Triathlon sanctioned event, USAT competitive rules will be enforced.
“It’s one of those types of events that is unique to our community and it will give people an opportunity to see if this is a recreational sport they may want to pick up,” said Gallo.