Although triathlon is months away, preparation has started

Carolyn Drummond

Event aims to bring focus to downtown area this summer

Although students are preparing to pack up to go home for the summer, the city of Kent isn’t shutting down for those three months. Preparations are continuing for the first Black Squirrel Adventure Triathlon, meant to attract attention downtown.

Kent Parks and Recreation will host the event Aug. 1 downtown. The race consists of three stages: canoeing or kayaking, running and biking.

Participants can choose the 3.5-mile whitewater option or the 1.8-mile flat water route. The run is 3.1 miles, and the bike portion is 10 miles.

“The distances for this race are designed for beginners,” said Dave Herpy, outdoor adventure and camp coordinator at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center. “You don’t have to be a marathon runner to do this race.”

Kent State and the city of Kent are partnering with Kent Parks and Recreation to assist with the planning and implementation of the race.

“We have a real collaboration going on right now,” said Tom Euclide, executive director of facilities planning and operations.

The university is involved to support the Kent community and to supply resources, such as canoes and kayaks, from the rec center.

Individuals, teams of two and relays of three to four people can rent equipment from the rec center in advance by calling (330) 672-2803.

“People have already started expressing interest,” Herpy said.

Organizers of the race, which is meant to take place annually, hope to eventually attract a crowd similar to Little Miami, a triathlon that has nearly 1,000 participants each year.

“We could easily see this creating a similar draw,” Euclide said. “We thought it would be great for the city of Kent and Kent State University.”

The race, which starts and ends downtown, will highlight the Kent community.

“We want to have a fun event downtown that will draw people and families,” Euclide said.

Registration forms can be found at

Contact Student Recreation and Wellness Center reporter Carolyn Drummond at [email protected].