Even though the reservoir at Veteran's Memorial Lake Park in Norwalk has a strict no-swimming policy, the city is breaking the rule for a day of swimming, biking and running.
The first Fisher-Titus Medical Center Maple City Triathlon will be held at 8 a.m. Saturday at the park.
"I'm thrilled, this is a dream," race director Niki Cross said. "When I moved here six years ago and saw the reservoir, I thought it would be a great place for a triathlon."
The triathlon includes an 800-meter swim, a 16-mile bike ride and a 3.1-mile run.
"We're trying to de-emphasize competition," said Bill Owens, who is working the transition area. "It's not a race, I just hope nobody gets hurt, everyone finishes the race and has a good time.
"It's about getting out there and doing it," Owens said. "Hopefully this will bring the city together."
Participants can do the triathlon solo or have groups of two or three. Teams can divide up the events.
The fee for participating is $40 for one, $65 for a team of two and $95 for a team of three. This entry fee includes the race, a T-shirt, a goodie bag, post-race recovery food and the post-race cookout. All food is provided by Berardi's Family Restaurant.
Owens, an experienced triathlete, gave some tips for the race.
"Wear as few things as you can get away with. I don't wear socks," Owens said. "If you can just ram your feet into your shoes it will save time, but on the other hand, if you're afraid to fall off your bike, wear bike gloves.
"The most important thing is to take your bike and lay out all the things you're going to need for the race and practice running and putting things on," Owens said.
Medals will be awarded to the top three positions in each age group, top male overall, top female overall and top relay overall. The winners will be judged using an AMB chip and timing system that will record how long it took to finish the race. The AMB chip and timing system was paid for by Fisher-Titus Medical Center and was provided by race management organization Run Wild Racing, Inc. It is providing much of the equipment that will be used for the race.
The race is sponsored by Fisher-Titus Medical Center and the Norwalk Parks and Recreation Department.
Registration for the race ends Wednesday. A total 98 people were signed up for the race as of Thursday. Cross estimates 120 people will participate, which she said is larger that what she expected.
"I thought there would only be like 50 people," Cross said.
Volunteers are still needed to help. Volunteers will get a meal ticket. If you are interested contact Cross at the Norwalk Parks and Recreation Department.
"My objective is to encourage people to stay fit," Cross said. "To use cross-training to stay in shape, it's not about the time, it's about the personal goals. It's so rewarding on a personal level.
"Crossing that finish line is indescribable," Cross said.