Sunday: 31st Annual Reston Triathlon

Reston Triathlon 2014/Credit: Reston Triathlon

Reston’s original triathlon returns to the streets, lakes and paths on Sunday. Since 1984, it has grown from a field of 165 local racers to an important fixture on the regional triathlon circuit. The field includes more than 600 participants and depends on hundreds of volunteers to make it run smoothly.

The race begins at 7 a.m. at Lake Audubon and ends at South Lakes High School. The first finishers will start coming in about 9 a.m.

Here are four things to know:

1. The 2015 World Police and Fire Games are having an impact in 2014.

The biennial World Police and Fire Games will take place in Fairfax County next year. The Reston Triathlon will be the organizing group for the triathlon, which will be held here in Reston.

In preparation for the games, the existing Reston Triathlon course is modified to bring it into conformity with the standard international distances, race officials said. Changes include:

  • The swim course is shortened to 1,500 meters. The start of the swim will also be moved farther into Lake Audubon to allow for an in-water start (treading water).
  • The bike course is changed to the 40km international standard. The new course, which begins atLake Audubon Pool,  takes riders down Twin Branches Drive , Glade Drive, Colts Neck Drive, Lawyers Road, Soapstone Drive, South Lakes Drive three times. Consult the bike course map to see if streets near you are affected.
  • The 10K run course takes place on Reston Association paths starting and ending at South Lakes High School.

2. The Sunday forecast calls for morning showers with a high of 81.

Race time temperatures will be more like the low 60s, with water temperatures in the high 70s-low 80s. That is a pretty good outlook for a race that has seen its swim portion canceled some years due to storm damage and other hazards.

Here is the rule on wet suits in the Reston Tri: Each age group participant shall be permitted to wear a wet suit without penalty in any event sanctioned by USA Triathlon up to and including a water temperature of 78 degrees Fahrenheit. When the water temperature is greater than 78 degrees, but less than 84 degrees Fahrenheit, age group participants may wear a wet suit at their own discretion, provided however that participants who wear a wet suit within this temperature range shall not be eligible for prizes or awards.

3. Park carefully.

There will be no parking at Lake Audubon on race day. Race officials say any vehicles parked on Twin Branches near the Lake Audubon Pool will be towed. The best plan for racers is drive to and park at South Lakes High School/Langston Hughes Middle School and drop off  bike/run transition gear at South Lakes High School and ride your bike to the lake. All athletes should plan to be at the lake and ready to swim no later than 6:30 am.

Spectators should also park at the schools. It is also possible to park at South Lakes Village Center and then walk the three blocks down Twin Branches to watch the swim portion.

4. Who will win?

Eric Sorenson was the top finisher in 2013 (2:00:59). Sorenson also holds the course record: in 1995 (at age 26), he finished in 1:51:42. Christine Nichols was the top woman finisher (sixth overall) in 2013 (2:07:39).

Reston’s Neil Medoff is one of several competitors who have competed all 30 previous years. At age 70 in 2013, he finished in 3:09:40.

To see much more triathlon information, history and records, visit Reston Triathlon’s website.

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