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July 1, 2005

Athletes Will Compete July 17 at Sandy Island Beach/Selkirk Shores Triathlon

OSWEGO COUNTY -- Athletes will be put to the test July 17 during the Sandy Island Beach/Selkirk Shores Triathlon on the Oswego County shoreline of Lake Ontario. The race begins at 9 a.m. at Sandy Island Beach State Park with a 750-yard swim in the lake, followed by a 21-mile bike ride to Selkirk Shores State Park, where the event ends with a 5-mile run. Registration fees are $35 for individuals, $60 for a 2-person relay team, and $75 for a 3-person relay team.

The triathlon draws approximately 300 people, including 100 athletes. The event showcases Oswego County's two state parks on Lake Ontario.

"Sandy Island Beach is a real asset, not only to our community but for visitors as well," said Oswego County Legislator Jerry Thomas, District 1, Sandy Creek. "The park has a brand new bathhouse and a beautiful sand beach, and the sunsets are unbelievable."

"The triathlon, along with the water release weekends, are good events that bring visitors to Pulaski and combine healthy activities and exercise," noted Legislator David Waters, District 3, Pulaski. "We hope many will consider returning during the winter months to take advantage of the winter activities here in the Salmon River - Tug Hill area."

Christine Gray, director of the Oswego County Department of Promotion and Tourism, said the parks are "unique natural treasures."

"Selkirk Shores State Park has earned national recognition by being named one of Reserve America's Top Outdoor Locations in 2005, and Sandy Island Beach State Park is part of the only significant freshwater dune site in the northeastern United States," said Gray.

Selkirk Shores State Park's campsites overlook a bluff on Lake Ontario. In addition to Great Lakes swimming, visitors can expect outstanding fishing and spectacular sunsets. Small boats can be launched from the nearby Pine Grove boat launch. The park is on the direct migration route for a wide variety of bird species. Selkirk Shores State Park is located at 7101 state Route 3, Pulaski.

Sandy Island Beach State Park is part of the Eastern Lake Ontario dune and wetland system, a 17-mile stretch that extends from the Town of Richland, Oswego County, and north along Lake Ontario to Jefferson County. The Eastern Lake Ontario dune system offers many opportunities for hikers, birdwatchers, canoeists and kayakers.

Walkovers and viewing platforms have been built to protect the fragile dune environment. The dunes were formed by wind and wave motion of a giant inland sea that preceded Lake Ontario. Sandy Island Beach is located at 3387 county Route 15, Sandy Creek. The park is open year-round from sunrise to sunset.

Children 15 and younger can compete in the one-mile run at Selkirk Shores State Park, free of charge. The first 50 children will receive a free t-shirt.

"People have come from Colorado, Ohio, and throughout New York State. The event was created to encourage an active and healthy lifestyle, while at the same time encourage people to see what our state parks have to offer," said Mike Krish, Park Manager of Selkirk Shores State Park. "The Kids Fun Run is an official race designed for those too young to compete in the Triathlon, but are interested in the sport of competitive running."

"Registration for the triathlon will take place at the new pavilion at Sandy Island Beach. Every year the staff looks forward to hosting the event," said Dave Warner, facilities manager for Sandy Island Beach State Park.

Registration begins at 7 a.m. July 17. To register for the event and for more information contact Michael Krish at Selkirk Shores State Park, phone (315) 298-5737 or Dave Warner at Sandy Island Beach State Park, phone (315) 387-2657.

An awards ceremony and chicken barbecue will follow the triathlon. The park will also have additional meals that can be purchased by non-competitors.

Sandy Island Beach and Selkirk Shores Triathlon is sponsored by Port Lodge Motel, Village of Pulaski, Steamboat Racing, Deaton's Building & Home Center, Northern Oswego County Ambulance, Town of Richland, Ringgold Fire Department, Sandy Creek Fire Department, Taylor Marie's Ice Cream, Ontario Health and Fitness, Eastern Shore Associates Insurance, William Buckley, D.D.S., Ted's Jewelry, Advanced Wellness Chiropractic, Redwood Motel, Melanie Soucy-Licensed Massage Therapist, Paulanjo's Pizza, Designs of Elegance, Town of Sandy Creek, Village of Sandy Creek, Oswego County National Bank, and Pulaski Health Center.

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