December 2, 2013
TriRock a success, city officials say

 

By LESTER R. DAILEY

Article published on Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013

CLEARWATER – The Nov. 10 TriRock triathlon meant different things to different people. To its organizers, it meant an opportunity to raise money for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. To city officials, it meant a way to promote Clearwater tourism. To participants, it meant a chance to compete in a world-class venue. To local hoteliers and merchants, it meant a way to increase business. And to some residents along the event’s route, it meant a brief disruption of traffic. But overall, the triathlon was a big success.

“The beauty of the area was a big plus, not only for the participants from the U.S., but those who came from overseas as well,” TriRock spokesman Ted Matellus told the Clearwater City Council at its Nov. 20 meeting.

Nearly 1,000 participants came from Canada, the Dominican Republic, Great Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, Turkey and 32 U.S. states.

“For a guy like myself, who comes from up north, if you give me a chance to go someplace that’s warm, I’m there,” Matellus said.

Clearwater was the seventh and last stop on the TriRock Triathlon Series 2013 tour. The other events were held in Philadelphia on June 21 and 22; in Aurora, Colo., on July 13; in Asbury Park, N.J., on Aug. 25; in Austin, Texas, on Sept. 2; in Lake Geneva, Wis., on Sept. 14 and in San Diego, Calif., on Sept. 22.

“This Gulf Coast beach community provides a spectacular backdrop for local triathletes and those traveling from across the country,” for the final event of the year, Matellus said of Clearwater.

This was only the second year in which a TriRock triathlon has been held in Clearwater, although Iron Man triathlons were held here in previous years. Unlike a traditional triathlon, TriRock features “great music along the course” and a concert at the finish line. It also has such amenities as a beer garden and a post-race breakfast.

”Clearwater not only serves as an impressive setting for the race course but offers a prime vacation destination, allowing participants to extend their stay and enjoy the beach voted ‘Best sand on the East Coast’ by Conde Nast Traveler,” Matellus said.

He added that the event has “received community support” from local endurance-industry experts and triathlon clubs, local sponsors and partners, expo vendors, the Hyatt Regency of Clearwater Beach, the Bay Care Health System, the City of Clearwater and the city’s mayor, George Cretekos.

“TriRock’s swim, bike, run, rock theme promotes a fun and athlete-friendly atmosphere.” Matellus said.

To minimize the impact on traffic, the event started at 6:50 a.m. and was over by 11 a.m. It began on Clearwater Beach with an open-water swim near Pier 60. The running events included sprint and intermediate-distance races, as well as a three-person relay.

The bicycling event, which raises the ire of some local residents because of the traffic disruptions it causes, took cyclists on a scenic tour through Sand Key, Clearwater Beach, the Memorial Causeway and Island Estates, with no major traffic problems reported.

“It was just really a super event,” Cretekos said. “We look forward to 2014.”

Article published on Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013

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