~ PVN staff report
LURAY, Aug. 19 — After being canceled last August due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 16th annual Luray Triathlon returns to Lake Arrowhead this weekend for two days featuring four events involving swimming, biking and running.
About 800 participants have signed up for either Saturday’s International Triathlon or Duathlon, or Sunday’s Sprint Triathlon or Duathlon. The four events are also expected to draw as many as 1,600 spectators to Luray’s town park at Lake Arrowhead, where the Luray Triathlon has been headquartered since 2006.
In its early years, the event only drew a few hundred competitors and grew to more than 1,000 at its height. This year’s 800 registrants marks a slight decline in participation, but still bodes well for comparable events.
Saturday’s International Triathlon is an Olympic-distance race that includes a 1,500-meter loop swim in a mountain lake, followed by a 41-kilometer cycling circuit along country roads, and ending with a 10-kilometer run along those same roads. Sunday’s Sprint Triathlon cuts those distances down to a 750-meter swim, a 27-kilometer bike ride and a 5-kilometer run.
The two duathlons will coincide with the triathlons, while excluding the swim portion. The duathlons were first introduced at the Luray event in 2018.
The Page Alliance for Community Action will help staff this weekend’s events with volunteers in exchange for a donation from Racine MultiSports, who hosts the event.
Local law enforcement will be on hand to monitor intersections along the race course, along with volunteers staffed throughout the course. Motorists are urged to use caution and slow down in the area surrounding Lake Arrowhead, especially during race times on Saturday and Sunday between 8 a.m. and noon. The main entrance to Lake Arrowhead will close at the start of each race.
Next month, Racine MultiSports and hundreds of athletes will return for the second annual 13.1-mile Luray Half Marathon and 5K in Downtown Luray on Sept. 12. The event was planned for last year, but also canceled due to the pandemic.
On June 19, Racine MultiSports held its Swim Fest at Lake Arrowhead with about 350 participants, which reportedly set a new record for the event that started six years ago.
The Town of Luray will welcome the wave of athletes Friday evening with an installment of its Evenings on Main summer concert series with the Robbie Limon Band at 7 p.m. at Ruffner Plaza along the Luray-Hawksbill Greenway.
For more details about this weekend’s events, visit https://luraytriathlon.com/