DENVILLE, NJ – Hundreds of Denville residents and people from all over Morris County made their way to Cooks Pond during the very early morning of July 21 for the seventh annual Denville Sprint Triathlon. The contest raised tens of thousands of dollars for local charities and organizations despite the day’s oppressive heat.
“I’d like to thank all of you for being here, and thanks to all of the volunteers,” said Denville Mayor Thomas Andes, who fired off a cannon to start the event.
“I also want to thank the police and fire departments for coming out to help everyone. Everyone, please have a great time and do your very best!”
More than 450 people came to either volunteer or participate as, or cheer on, triathletes. Event activities included a .35-mile swim, nine-mile bike ride and 3.1-mile run through the local neighborhood.
“We’re very excited about this one,” said North Haledon resident Christina Goldstein, who came with her family to watch her husband Aaron compete for the third time.
“We’re hoping he finishes pretty high. We like how fast this race is and it’s well-maintained with great volunteers.”
One of the volunteers included Denville Council President Douglas Gabel, who stood in the transition area where athletes retrieved their bikes and returned them to begin the run. There, Gabel greeted them with high-fives and encouraging words.
“As a volunteer, I have one of the best jobs of helping participants in the transition area, cheering them on to the next segment,” said Gabel.
“Hats off to all athletes for a great cause.”
Montville’s Jeffrey Melgaard finished first at 57 minutes.
"This is the first triathlon I’ve won and I’m super excited," said Melgaard, who has run in the triathlon twice before.
"I’m happy that people I know came to support me and I look forward to racing in other events."
Randolph resident Julie Finco crossed the finish line first for the women at 60 minutes, 44 seconds, and placed seventh overall. Melgaard and Finco each received a trophy, $100 Amazon gift card and mug for their accomplishments.
“The seventh Denville Triathlon was a successful event, even with the super-hot temperatures,” said Ellen Schutt, an associate race director in the triathlon.
“The athletes all did a great job despite the heat, and volunteers stepped up to make the race even better. Thanks to all who set up hoses on the run course to cool down the runners as they went by, and to everyone who gave extra support during the day.”
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