Tupper Lake gears up for Tinman

Record field expected as 37th annual Tinman takes place Saturday

Bob Tebo, an Ironman 70.3 age-group World Champion, leaves the swim-bike transition while competing on his home course in the 2018 Tupper Lake Tinman. The event will be held for the 38th straight summer on Saturday. (Enterprise file photo — Lou Reuter)

TUPPER LAKE — The Tupper Lake Tinman tradition continues Saturday with the 37th running of the event kicking off in Municipal Park at 8 a.m.

More than 650 competitors have signed up for this year’s races, which is the largest expected field to date.

“The race appeals to athletes looking for a hard core, challenging course with a small town feel in a beautiful setting,” race director Wendy Peroza said. “We couldn’t be happier to see such an increase in athletes this year.

“We have worked hard to get the word out about our triathlon through the internet and social media,” Peroza added. “We are also building a strong following with regional triathlon clubs. They do a great job getting the word out to their members and friends.”

Competitors can register for one of four distances or as a relay team. The traditional Tinman distances are a 1.2-mile swim in Raquette Pond, followed by a 56-mile out-and-back bike to Cranberry Lake and a 13.1-mile run in Tupper Lake. The Olympic distances are a .93-mile swim, a 26-mile bike and a 6.2-mile run, while sprint distances are a .5-mile swim, 12.6-mile bike and 3.1-mile run. There is also an Aquabike race that includes a 1.2-mile swim and 56-mile bike.

“The race has a rich history and a beautiful location, and we pride ourselves on being a great choice for varying ability levels, from the first-time athlete to the seasoned veteran,” Peroza said.

This year’s swim start will be different than in the past as a rolling start will take the place of mass starts according to age group. Athletes will self-seed based on their estimated swim time, with the clock starting when they cross the start mat on the shore.

Also new this year will be an expanded athlete expo taking place during Friday’s athlete check-in from 1 to 8 p.m. at the Tupper Lake Civic Center. Athletes will have the opportunity to browse various local vendors there including The Wild Center, Birch Boys Chaga, KW Ranch & Kitchen, Tupper Arts, High Peaks Cyclery and others. 

Last year’s Tinman had 276 participants, the Olympic distance had 96, the Sprint had 80 and Aquabike had 28 participants. The first Tupper Lake Tinman took place in 1983, which makes it one of the oldest triathlons in the United States.

The race is sponsored by the Tupper Lake Chamber of Commerce, with the help of a huge corps of volunteers. The first of the races begins at 8 a.m., and in addition to the competitions the day offers live music from noon to 4 p.m. at the pavilion and a beer tent and food throughout the day.