Ron Knoll, race organizer, says the goal is to make it a long-standing tradition in the community. He said being able to bring West Michigan athletes with different backgrounds and specialties together is what the event is all about.
"I know of no other event that hits the mark like a triathlon does when it comes to camaraderie," Knoll said. "Camaraderie, mutual respect and admiration for anywhere from the first place finisher to the last place finisher."
The triathlon began at 8 a.m. Sunday at Willard Beach Park on Goguac Lake and included a 750-meter swim, and a 20K bike ride, with participants finishing with a 5K run.
"Everyone has really embraced this event to make it the success it is, Battle Creek and its residents are really happy to have this here," Knoll said. "This is a wonderful park to hold the event and it makes for a nice family event.'
Last year's event drew about 200 athletes who participated, and this year Knoll expected a slight increase over that, saying support for these kinds of events have been growing each year.
"It's amazing how many participants there are in this sport and how many high-quality, high-caliber triathletes there are in West Michigan," he said. "And so many newbies coming out too and for me that's even more special."
Knoll said he's also planning another race in October called the Xterra Off Road Triathlon at Yankee Spring State Park in Grand Rapids. More information on that race can be found here.