The Fitness Coliseum in Owosso and the Friends of the Shiawassee River are kicking off the first-ever Shiawassee Triathlon (Shi~Tri) this Sunday, May 23, 2021 – and it’s going to be a big deal! The mission of the Shi~Tri is to promote community fitness and to support the Friends of the Shiawassee River. Proceeds from this year’s event will go toward improvements to help everyone care, share, and enjoy our treasured Shiawassee River.
This event, which had originally been planned for May of 2020, had to be postponed to 2021 due to safety reasons associated with Covid-19. Details on the whole event may be found at the Shi-Tri website at www.shi-tri.com.
The Shi~Tri is a Run/Paddle/Bike Triathlon beginning and ending in Downtown Owosso along the Shiawassee River. Participants begin with a 3.3-mile run/walk from the new location of the Fitness Coliseum (210 S Water Street, Owosso, MI - formerly Trust Thermal) to McCurdy Park in Corunna along the James Miner Trail. From there, the triathletes will launch their kayaks or canoes into the river, paddle back 3.5 miles toward Owosso, and exit the river just before the intersection of S. Water and Washington Streets, behind the TCF drive-thru Bank. The third leg of the event will have participants biking a 9-mile loop through Owosso’s city streets and country roads back to the triathlon’s starting point (new Fitness Coliseum).
The run/start line will open at 8:50am, at which time the first group of runners will report to the parking lot of the Fitness Coliseum. Runners will be assigned a staggered start time. This is just one of the many safety precautions related to Covid-19. Since each registrant will be timed individually, the staggered start will not interfere with accurate timing and placement of each participant’s performance. The awards ceremony will begin at 3:00pm (also at the parking lot of the Fitness Coliseum) with awards for the following: Men’s Individual (18y/o+), Women’s Individual (18y/o+), Masters (55+, Male and Female Combined), Youth (<18, Male & Female Combined), Relay Team (All ages, All Relays Combined). There will also be one overall male award and overall female award.
Those who would like to watch the race may line up at any point along the route. Throughout the day, there will be vendors and information tables in the Fitness Coliseum parking lot. And, as a special treat, the Shiawassee Regional Chamber of Commerce will have a mimosa tent there as well! Public parking for the start/finish site will be in the municipal parking lot near NCG Cinema.
There is no limit to the number of spectators who would like to see this exciting new event. Registration for triathletes was capped at 150 participants and is full, however there are still volunteer opportunities available.
“This event will really be made by the volunteers! Together we will be able to make it run smoothly and be fun for all involved. The best part about volunteering is that even if you aren’t a triathlete you still get to play a role in this amazing community day!” said Brianna Carroll, owner of the Fitness Coliseum.
An event like this relies on the efforts of over 100 volunteers – both the day of the event and the day before. So, even if you don’t fancy yourself as an athlete or even an out-of-doors enthusiast, there are plenty of ways to jump in and help. And all who help out will get a volunteer t-shirt as well.
“The Shi~Tri will truly be a spectacular event for the Friends’ organization and our community,” said Lorraine Austin, Executive Director of the Friends of the Shiawassee RIver. “If you haven’t signed up to help yet, there are a wide variety of duties on both Saturday and Sunday – some lasting a few hours, and some all-day tasks. It’s a family-friendly activity – so we encourage families, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and everyone to register together!”
To register as a volunteer, visit https://runsignup.com/Race/Volunteer/MI/Owosso/TheShiTri.
The race organizers would also like everyone to join in to thank this year’s sponsors – without whom this event would not be possible: Presenting Sponsor: Memorial Hospital; Run Sponsor: Norm Henry Shoes; Paddle Sponsor: Great Lakes Fusion; Ride Sponsor: Byk-Rak; Underwriting Sponsor: Shiawassee County Convention & Visitors Bureau; Prize Design Sponsor: Darker Mfg. Co.; and the Shi~Tribe Sponsors: Advanced Eye Care, American Recycling Center, Inc., American Speedy Print, DayStarr Communications, Feighner Docks, Hankerd Sportswear, Merit Laboratories, Inc., Qdoba, RE/MAX of Owosso, RWI Mfg., and Weather Vane Roofing.