Champaign Park District's mini-triathlon moved up to avoid conflict

Champaign Park District's mini-triathlon moved up to avoid conflict

CHAMPAIGN — Multi-sport athletes won't have to choose between annual Mahomet runs and Champaign's mini-triathlon after all.

Champaign Park District board members moved the date of the 36th annual mini-tri from the first week of August to this Saturday, eliminating a direct conflict with the Mahomet half-marathon, 10K, 5K and fun run.

"For the past few years, we've been fighting with the Mahomet half-marathon, which would be on or around the same date," said Topher Wendt, aquatics coordinator for the park district.

Marla Dewhirst, Run Mahomet's longtime race director, said the change in the Champaign event has had no effect on her races' registration numbers so far.

"The only date change we've done in the past was to allow high school runners to compete as individuals," she said.

"There's been no communication or conflict on our part with Champaign's mini-triathlon. They're totally different races that attract different athletes."

Wendt said another reason for the date change is to allow more volunteers to be on the course, since most of the park district's employees go back to school in August. Having more volunteers to ensure participants' safety is more important than the number of participants, he said.

"As far as registration numbers go, we're looking at a drop of 30-40 participants," he said. "The earlier date did throw a couple people off."

The mini-tri's closeness to Wednesday's Champaign County Freedom Celebration 5K run may also be to blame for the decline, he said.

In the future, Wendt said the park district might change the date of the mini-tri to one that does not conflict with any other summer festivities.

"This was the only Saturday our timers could be at the mini-tri," he said. "In the future, we're planning to move it closer to the August date that people are used to. We just don't want people to choose between the two events."