Upstate New York triathletes are decidedly blessed with the healthy number of waterways in which to compete. I made it a fitness goal this year to compete in different places, and it's truly remarkable the number of choices out there.
Yesterday, July 31, I raced the Delta Lake Triathlon, and already it's near the top of my favorites list. Growing up in Vernon, I remember that my mother took us kids there during the summer, like so many Syracusans go to Green Lakes. Life is interesting in that I returned there to race a triathlon (something that never would have crossed my mind as a 10-year-old).
Racing north of Rome got me thinking of all the terrific lakes and other bodies of water I have swum in, and am still scheduled to swim in this summer. There are many others I have yet to get to that I'm sure many of my readers have already competed in.
I can cross these off my list: the Niagara River (weedy), Jamesville Reservoir (chilly), Lake Ontario (wavy), Oneida (shallow), and the Finger Lakes known as Seneca, Skaneateles and Keuka (I'm racing in Cayuga Lake this Sunday). That leaves many others I'm considering for the future--Tupper Lake, Fourth Lake, Cazenovia Lake, Owasco Lake, Canandaigua Lake (but NEVER Lake Placid; no Ironman for me!).
In fact, we travel so much for these triathlons that it got me thinking about what a shame it is we aren't able to stay home to race in our hometown Onondaga Lake. A duathlon would work--biking and running routes are well established--but swimming? While Onondaga is cleaner than it's been in many generations, there's still a stigma about the lake that was so beloved of Hiawatha that many of us just can't get past.
So as much as the thought of racing a triathlon in the lake I was swimming in as a child never occurred to me--but it happened--I will dream that one day local triathletes don't need to rise at 4 a.m. to get to that day's race. They can mosey over to Onondaga Lake and christen it in all its newfound, clean glory!