The 2014 Tri Greenville was a huge success all the way around. Great for the seasoned athletes and beginners alike, a boost to the local economy, fun for those who came out to watch and volunteer, and fortunately, the weather was perfect.
It highlighted Greenville at its best.
Organizing a triathlon is no small feat and it’s really quite amazing that in only its second year, Tri Greenville went off without a hitch. That’s a credit to race co-coordinators Kris Berry and Doug Hinken, volunteer coordinator Kara Tiesworth and the rest of the organizing committee and volunteers.
This year’s race boasted a massive turnout of volunteers, folks willing to get up early and give up a Saturday morning to make sure the course was set, athlete needs were met and all was put back to normal afterward. Statistics show there was a volunteer for every 1.6 athletes. It’s yet another example of the willingness of area residents to lend a hand when needed.
Tri Greenville also provides a great opportunity to promote fitness, especially among kids. This year’s kids’ triathlon attracted participants as young as 7 and all who took part had a great time. As we look for ways to foster healthier local communities, events like Tri Greenville that offer an opportunity for every level of participation — in age and ability — are great motivators.
This year’s race also included a chance for children and adults with disabilities to participate in the Tri. My Team Triumph, an athletic ride-along program, gives these folks a chance to participate in an endurance event that they likely would otherwise not be able to. Four teams took part this year, each with six “angels” who did the swimming, biking and running while pushing and pulling each team captain throughout the race. Certainly a memorable day for each of the four captains and their families.
The Tri also was a boon for Greenville — a chance to show our best side. And by all accounts, that happened. Hotels were booked. Restaurants were packed. The local economy got a mini-boost. Men’s race winner Jimi Minnema, a professional triathlete, paid the race some very nice compliments.
“This is a spectacular event. Just look around at the people lined up all over the place,” Minnema said. “The course is absolutely beautiful and a day like this doesn’t hurt. I would recommend this race for first-timers on up. If you can come out and experience an event as well run as this, that is great.”
We know the race committee has barely had time to come up for air, but we look forward to the successes and opportunities that are sure to come with the Tri Greenville 2015.
Editorial opinions are the consensus of The Daily News editorial board.