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First Athens triathlon adds new relay categories

Athletes in Action has added two new relay categories to its May 7 triathlon on the Ohio University campus.

The "Student Organization" and "Staff and Faculty Department" relay divisions were added to encourage more participation by the Ohio University community in the inaugural event.

The "Student Organization" relay category is designed to create competition between Greek organizations and clubs on campus. Athletes in Action will award $150 to the top male and female teams in this category.

The "Staff and Faculty Department" relay division promotes aims to foster healthy inter-departmental competition. Well Works has already joined in the faculty and staff category and will award three one-year WellWorks memberships to the winning team.

The sprint-format triathlon will be an easy race for beginners while still being long enough to challenge the most avid tri-athlete. It includes a 500-meter indoor swim, a 25-kilometer bike ride and a 5-kilometer run.

The race kicks off at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, May 7, at the Ohio University Aquatic Center. It is co-sponsored by HFP Racing, a leader in the industry of multisport management and marketing.

Event planner Bill Hauschild said the triathlon is a great opportunity for the community to get involved and celebrate together.

"There are so many seemingly pointless parties and fests that celebrate nothing more than street names," Hauschild said. "I love the idea of an event that celebrates fitness and can serve to bring the Ohio University and Athens community together. For those on the fence I say, 'Give it a Tri.' Whether you compete as an individual or as a relay, you will feel a sense of accomplishment when you've finished, and you should."

Hauschild said more than 140 competitors have already registered, but Athletes in Action is anticipating more than 250 competitors by race day. There is no race day registration, and a $10 late registration fee will be added after Tuesday, April 26.

For registration and course information, visit www.hfpracing.com.

Top-10 reasons everyone should participate

10. Come together as a community and be a part of something bigger than all of us. This is good for Athens!

9. Get a cool T-shirt and hang out with some amazing people.

8. Form a staff and faculty relay and generate a little "inter-departmental smack talking," with the opportunity to earn three one-year WellWorks memberships.

7. Earn bragging rights as the top student organization, with the opportunity to earn $150 for your organization.

6. Give yourself a reason to put down the TV remote, get off the couch, challenge yourself and do something fun with your friends.

5. Enjoy the beauty of Athens County and truly appreciate the rolling hills of our area.

4. Be part of a select group that can say, "I remember when I competed in the first OU Athletes in Action Triathlon way back in 2011."

3. Wendy Merb-Brown is doing it!

2. "Keep Athens Funky"

1.  Miami University had 250 competitors in the first year of their triathlon. OHIO can do better!

- Bill Hauschild