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A late-summer tradition and one of Long Island's signature athletic events, the Town of Hempstead triathlon is "racing" into its 21st year with a new sponsor and a new day of the week. After 20 years of Saturday races the triathlon is moving to Sunday for the very first time and this year's event is set for Sunday, Sept. 12. Supervisor Kate Murray joins triathlon officials in welcoming the Community Bank of New York as the event's new corporate sponsor.

A compelling test of athletic ability and physical endurance, the triathlon includes separate swimming, running and biking legs. Triathlon 2004 will begin at 8 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 12 in Town Park Point Lookout, 1300 Lido Boulevard, Point Lookout. Entry applications are now available through the Town of Hempstead Parks Department at 292-9000, ext. 219.

Set along the beautiful beachfront at Town Park Point Lookout, the triathlon begins with a hearty three-quarter mile ocean swim. After emerging from the surf, competitors set off on a 10-mile bike race through the streets of Point Lookout and adjacent Lido Beach. The final leg of the triathlon is a five-mile run to the finish line at Town Park.

"Always a thrilling race, the triathlon showcases the athletic skill and competitive spirit of all participants," commented Supervisor Murray. "We hope to welcome a full field of 300 contestants for Triathlon 2004, and please remember to return applications prior to the Sept. 1 deadline."

To receive a 2004 triathlon application, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Town of Hempstead Triathlon, Department of Parks and Recreation, 200 North Franklin Street, Hempstead, New York 11550. Registration fees, set at $33 for a town resident, $49.50 for a nonresident and $16.50 for a town senior or veteran, are payable by check or money order made out to the Town of Hempstead.

In addition to presenting each participant with a souvenir T-shirt and a special race memento, the triathlon will bestow handsome awards on the top male and female finishers in each of 10 age categories. Championship trophies, complete with appropriate engravings, will be presented to the overall men's and women's winners.

The Hempstead Town triathlon acknowledges the support and cooperation of Brands Cycle and Fitness at 1966 Wantagh Avenue, Wantagh; Aloe Cal Cruz, Surf and Volleyball Shop, 2779 Merrick Road, Bellmore; Empire Kayaks of Island Park; and C Town, 1080 West Beach Street, Long Beach. Trader Joe's at 3418 Long Beach Road in Oceanside will return as the event's beverage (water) and nutrition supplier (post race snacks). Each of these corporate contributors will also carry triathlon applications.

"We look forward to a fantastic race on Sunday, Sept. 12 and along with all the fun and excitement we might even see a record-breaking performance," added Councilwoman Angie M. Cullen. "I invite residents who don't wish to compete to come out and cheer on the athletes."

Additional event and registration information may be obtained by calling the Parks Department at 292-9000, ext. 219 or by visiting the town website at www.TOH.LI.


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