By Jon Hoffman
Do you go to the gym faithfully? Are you serious about keeping in shape, even on your vacation? Are you up for a little adventure? Now's your chance to accomplish what most others only ever dream about. The 3rd Annual Gatlinburg Gateway Triathlon, held in the foothills of the beautiful Smoky Mountains, takes place April 2, 2011.
Whether you're looking to increase your experience or are entering an event of this type for the first time, the Gatlinburg Gateway Triathlon is the ideal training event. Its route through the sloping foothills of the Smokies makes courses available that are suitable for both novice- and expert-level athletes.
How the Event Unfolds
The first leg consists of swimming one-half mile (0.8 km) in the pool of the Gatlinburg Community Center. Once your heart is pumping, you'll head outdoors and mount your bike for an exhilarating 20K ride that circles through the outskirts of town. Abandoning their wheels, riders become runners and complete the event via foot race along picturesque Ogle Road and cross the finish line back at the Gatlinburg Community Center.
Strenuous? Yes! Healthy? Certainly. But this race is also fun and - regardless of where you place - will fill you with a tremendous sense of accomplishment and pride. But athletes arenít the only ones having a good time.
As a visitor to the area, you may not want to actively take part in the triathlon, but watching the displays of strength from racers you know is just as exhilarating. From the sidelines, follow the participants along the route, cheering on the various competitors as they make their bid to win or at least finish the race. Then follow these enthusiasts to the presentation of awards for a truly special moment everyone will remember.
Rules and Regulations
Of course, like any other racing event, certain rules do apply.
Are you at least 15 years of age? Can you swim one-half mile, bike at least 20 kilometers, then run for five, performing all three one after the other? This is what the Gatlinburg Gateway Triathlon is all about. It is the perfect "Sprint Marathon," guaranteed to test your physical prowess and endurance.
You gather at the Gatlinburg Community Center on Mills Park Road by 7:30 on the Saturday morning of the event. At 8 a.m., you must attend a meeting on the rules of the run and safety issues. Preregistration is required. After check-in, join those who fall into your age and gender group, and prepare to take on this event.
If you are a member of a running group, or have a running partner, why not take part in the mixed relay category? This is for groups of two or three athletes.
Afterward, whether participant or spectator, you can head to a nearby park to enjoy a picnic or grab some lunch at a popular restaurant. Perhaps you want to cool your exerted muscles by leisurely wandering through the beautiful Smokies town of Gatlinburg. If you have the time, go back along the triathlon route, but this time do so to enjoy the foothills of the Smoky Mountains and browse in the many handicraft shops along the eight-mile loop of the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community.
Itís clean, family fun. Itís good for your health. And heck, it gives you one more reason to head to the Smokies! Register today.