"Sri Chinmoy Triathlon" (The Triathlon, The East Coast/Southern Triathlete Section) Nick Mercurio, November 1988.
Westerly, Rhode Island (8/7) - If you are an age-grouper with a summer race schedule busier than Mike Pigg's and you want to kick back and enjoy a race without a lot of competitive pressure, or if you've been doing short races and want to try the perfect introduction to longer distances, consider the Sri Chinmoy Triathlon next summer. this was was the 10th annual, and the race has a large percentage of people who come back year after year. That alone tells a lot.
The emphasis in this triathlon is participation, in keeping with the Sri Chinmoy concept of transcendence of physical and spiritual limitations. the quotation from the Sri printed on this year's race T-shirt read: "The determination in your heroic effort will permeate your heart and mind even after your success or failure is long forgotten."
Determination is indeed what you needed this year. when the weather channel mentioned 3-5 foot seas, it didn't mean very much to me, living as I do three hours from the ocean. When I got to the Westerly Town Beach, opened the car door and heard the roar of the surf, the ocean became something I could relate to, especially after walking up the sand dunes to see people surfing through the fog on waves as high as my kitchen ceiling.
The mass start 1.2 mile swim, with 250 starters, took place in pea soup fog, big surf, and rip-tides. It also featured 66 degrees water, lots of loose seaweed, and jellyfish, all as a result of an off-shore storm.
Rain began during the swim, and continued for the first hour of the rolling 50 mile bike. Slick roads retired a few competitors due to road rash, as did the wild swim conditions. The sun broke through later on the bike, bringing with it a stiff southerly breeze. The 10 mile run brought full sun, and the temperature and humidity rose. The run featured water stops each mile, complete with God's gift to the triathlon runner - cold sponges...
The Sri Chinmoy is a race with lots of heart. Every finisher receives a treasure of a medallion, nicer than most first-place awards, a filling meal of lasagna and salad, and a T-shirt with a message that will stay with the participants...