Nation’s Triathlon athletes honor 9/11 victims

WASHINGTON — Thousands of triathletes took on the streets of D.C. by foot and by bicycle Sunday in the Nation’s Triathlon.

“It’s just a great way to get a lot of people together to remember September 11 and just enjoy the day,” Diancra Swell said. “I was a firefighter before I moved to the D.C. area, so it has a lot of meaning for me.”

This year the swimming portion was canceled due to high bacteria levels in the Potomac River.

“I’m kind of disappointed,” Carl Baner said. “I was actually looking forward to it. I was working hard on the swim.”

I fact, many participants were looking forward to taking a dip in the Potomac.

“When you are swimming through the water, you get to look up and see the Lincoln Memorial with every breath so that’s pretty cool,” said Sarah Thornton. “Next year, I’ll swim.”

The Nation’s Triathlon requires a lot of preparation.

“Long hours after work,” Mike Mansfield said. “Spending a lot of time in the pool, on the roads, running around the community. So, it takes a lot of work, but it is worth it on the weekend.”

Mallory Scott said “prepare” was a strong word to use to describe the training she did ahead of the race.

“I’ve been swimming once a week,” Scott said. “I ride my bike around town, and I’m training for a marathon. I’m not one of these super awesome triathlete-type people. For me, this is more just a fun event that breaks up the monotony of training.”

Most of the participants said getting a look at the nation’s capital on foot and on two wheels is one of the best experiences.

That experience, though, also shut down several major roads, such as Rock Creek Parkway and Independence Avenue, forcing motorists in the District to find a different way to their destinations.

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