The Town of Sahuarita invites active and aspiring triathletes to participate in the first TriZona at Sahuarita triathlon presented by Haka Multisport on Saturday, May 2, at Sahuarita Lake Park.
If you’re not participating, come to cheer on the competitors and enjoy a beautiful day in the park.
TriZona at Sahuarita is a USA Triathlon-sanctioned, Olympic distance triathlon with a 0.9-mile swim, 25-mile bike ride and 6.2-mile run.
Robert Mathews, a three-tour Operation Iraqi Freedom Army veteran, three-time Purple Heart recipient and resident of Rancho Sahuarita, is looking forward to competing in the event.
Mathews lost the use of his right arm in 2006 at the age of 23 during a firefight. He continued to serve in the Army until being medically retired in 2010. Back in his hometown of Beaumont, Texas, “depression and weight gain were in full force,” Mathews said.
“So we as a family decided to find somewhere we could all be happy,” he said. “We moved to Sahuarita in 2012 and have loved the area ever since. We all as a family became more active. I started with a 5k run and felt like a wimp. I was beat, tired and hurting. My biggest question was ‘How did I get so out of shape?’ and never again will I be.”
He started competing in triathlons in 2014 and placed second in his category at the 2014 USA Paratriathlon National Championships in Tempe last September.
“The one thing I would say to anyone – wounded warrior or not – is ‘You can!’ It’s not easy, it won’t happen overnight, and it’s painful at times, but you can! Just never give up!”
Victor Gonzalez, Economic Development Manager for the Town of Sahuarita, hopes the triathlon will become an annual event in Sahuarita.
“The Town is delighted to sponsor this triathlon with Rancho Sahuarita and TriSports,” Gonzalez said. “Sahuarita Lake Park is a beautiful setting and provides the only open water venue in Southern Arizona. The Town has so much to offer athletes, sporting event organizers and individuals and families interested in active lifestyles.”
Sahuarita Lake Park is a 15-acre park at 15466 S. Rancho Sahuarita Blvd. with a 10-acre lake and a 1-mile pathway surrounding it. There are several picnic areas and benches along the pathway as well as fitness equipment.
Sponsorships and promotional placement throughout the race course are still available. Contact Town of Sahuarita Economic Development Manager Victor Gonzalez at 520-822-8817 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The triathlon will start at 7 a.m. Participants can start signing in at 5:15 a.m. The awards ceremony is scheduled for 10:30 a.m.
Mike Groaning, the event coordinator and founder of Haka Multisport, said that this triathlon will be capped at 300 participants and that about 150 people have registered. Participants must register in advance.
For more information and to register, visit www.sahuaritatri.com.
Haka Multisport offers training plans and coaching, and organizes triathlons and other swimming, running and biking events. For more information, visit www.hakamultisport.com.