PainnAlleganies_5001by Jesse Mast

No pain, no gain?

For hundreds of athletes, the answer is apparently “yes,” as they gather for tough competition at the second annual Pain in the Alleganies on Sunday, Sept. 22.

Pain in the Alleganies is a multisport event that includes half iron, triathlon, aquabike and duathlon races.

Allegany State Park Red House Area provides the scenic backdrop for this grueling event. Pain in the Alleganies is organized by Score This!!!, a corporation that has been organizing multisport events since 1997.

Last year was the first time this event was held, and now in its second year, organizers are expecting a good turnout of athletes, according to Score This!!! Vice President Richard Clark.

“We’re targeting 500 (participants) this year,” he said.

Athletes will choose from a variety of races of different lengths. Athletes opting for the longest of these, the half iron, will endure a 1.2-mile swim, tackle two climbs — twice each — on a 56-mile bike segment, and finish off with 13.1-mile run over paved park paths.

On the shorter side of the competition is the duathlon: 3.1 miles running, 12.4 miles biking and another 3.1 miles running.

The half iron and short triathlon events may be done solo or as a relay.

The competition begins bright and early. The transition area opens at 5:45 a.m. for body marking to begin at 6 a.m. and a pre-race meeting at 7:30 a.m.

The race kicks off at 8 a.m. with a cold plunge into Red House Lake. Since the different races use the same course, they will begin in waves, starting with the sprint triathlon and duathlon.

The races will be held rain or shine.

“Last year we had horrible weather,” Clark laughed, saying that the event continued through sun, rain and even hail. “It was very unique.”

The awards ceremony for the sprint and duathlon will take place at 10:30 a.m., and for the half iron and aquabike at 2:30 p.m. Awards will be given to the top five overall finishers in the half iron and aquabike events. Other events will award medals three-deep according to age categories.

Besides the hundreds of athletes involved, Clark said “an additional 100 people” work to make Pain in the Alleganies a success. This includes the fire department for water safety, park police and more than 40 Score This!!! staff.

The event also relies on the participation of volunteers. Whether assisting with registration, directing athletes on the course or helping in one of the aid stations, volunteers are important in nearly every aspect of the event in order to make race day run smoothly.

This may be a great opportunity for people wanting to volunteer time and effort. Clark told of one boy in particular who volunteered last year. Clark said the boy set up an additional aid station on course all by himself.

Pain in the Alleganies is sanctioned by USA Triathlon. Adult athletes who are not USAT members may obtain a one-day membership for a $12 fee.

Registration is available online at Registration fees are different for each type of race. Prices increase after Aug. 22 and again on the day of the race. Athletes are encouraged to check this website for any detail updates before the race.

Race packet pickup is Saturday, Sept. 21 at Holiday Valley Resort from 5–8 p.m., and race day at Allegany State Park Red House Area from 6–7:30 a.m.

For out-of-town athletes, a special lodging rate is available at Holiday Valley Resort by calling (716) 699-2345.