HFP Racing and the Ariel-Foundation Park partner to bring multisport racing to Mount Vernon, Ohio

Mount Vernon, OH – HFP Racing (HFP) and the Ariel-Foundation Park today announced a partnership to host the Ariel-Foundation Park Triathlon and Duathlon on August 29, 2021. HFP Racing will be adding this event to the line up in their Signature Event Series, which include the American Triple-T, Toughman Ohio, Tri CLE Rock Roll Run and Ohio’s season ending multisport event, the Ohio Fall Challenge.

“The Foundation Park Conservancy board is always considering new ways to attract visitors to Ariel-Foundation Park.  The opportunity to host a triathlon excites us because it not only will showcase this unique public space, but we will also be able to showcase Knox County’s two bike trails which converge at the park.  Triathletes will discover Mount Vernon has a vibrant downtown and will undoubtedly return. This event is a win-win for our community.” Melanie Bolender, Development Chair for the Foundation Park Conservancy

250-acre Ariel-Foundation Park – Located in Mount Vernon, Ohio

The Ariel-Foundation Park Triathlon and Duathlon will feature swimming in the calm and clear waters of Central Lake, followed by biking on the Ohio to Erie bike trail and the rolling hills in Knox County. The race finishes with a beautiful running tour of Ariel-Foundation Park. Participants that are non-swimmers can choose the duathlon division which substitutes an opening run for the swim.  Additionally, the triathlon offers a 3-person relay (1-swimmer, 1-biker, 1-runner) and the duathlon offers a 2-person relay (1-runner, 1-biker). There are three triathlon and duathlon distances to choose from:

  • Mini Triathlon: 250y Swim – 7mi Bike – 2mi Run
  • Mini Duathlon: 2mi Run – 7mi Bike – 2mi Run
  • Sprint Triathlon: 750m Swim – 21k Bike – 5k Run
  • Sprint Duathlon: 5k Run – 21k Bike – 5k Run
  • Olympic Triathlon: 1500m Swim – 38k Bike – 10k Run
  • Olympic Duathlon: 5k Run – 38k Bike – 10k Run

    All finishers will receive a handsome finisher medal and the top three in each division will receive custom awards (including relay teams).

    “This event has the makings of becoming a signature event in Mount Vernon.  Recreation (especially at Ariel~Foundation Park) has had and will continue to be an economic driver for our community while providing fun and interesting activities for our residents and visitors alike.  The City is looking forward to working with HFP Racing and the Conservancy in shining another spotlight on this premiere park.”  Matthew T. Starr, Mayor – City of Mount Vernon
EXPLORE. LEARN. STAY. – Mount Vernon, Ohio

“HFP Racing is thrilled to be partnering with the Ariel-Foundation Park and bringing this awesome new event to the Ohio multisport community. Our participants will love this meticulously manicured park and the proximity to downtown Mount Vernon, which will make it a great family friendly event”. Shannon Kurek, Co-Founder HFP Racing

About HFP Racing: Founded in 1988, HFP Racing has been serving the multisport community for over 30 years. Over the last 3 decades HFP Racing has been blessed to have played a significant role in the building of multisport within the Mideast region. HFP Racing is a family-owned business co-founded by the husband-and-wife team, Shannon and Jennifer Kurek. More details on the 2021 events can be found at http://www.hfpracing.com.

About Ariel-Foundation Park: Located in Mount Vernon, Ohio, the park is a stunning 250-acre example of adaptive reuse, created on the former site of a glass-making factory. It offers architectural ruins, lakes, observation tower, walking trails, steel sculptures, a museum, and connections to both the Kokosing Gap Trail and the Heart of Ohio Trail. For more information about the Ariel-Foundation Park, visit http://www.arielfoundationpark.org and follow the AFP on Facebook and Twitter.

What does it mean…?

What does it mean that we get to race again?? Someone asked me last week what it meant to me to know that we get to race again and it took me a minute to realize just how important racing is in our lives. Me personally – racing means I get to see my family again. I know we’re not necessarily related by blood, but we’re all kindred spirits. I love you all like you’re my family, and I have missed you terribly in this stupid pandemic.

2019 American Triple-T – Celebrating with some my multisport family

Does it mean something to me to be able to see my family again? You bet it does. What does it mean….? It means that our training has purpose again! How many of us have trained (or not trained) over the past year with no real goal in sight? We haven’t had a goal because we haven’t had any races to work towards. Everything was cancelled. Yes, you can do the virtual race thing and that’s a great way to continue training, but in reality is a virtual race anything other than a hard training day?

Is virtual racing really racing?

In my mind, no it isn’t, as a “race” gives you several things that virtual racing doesn’t: You get the atmosphere! There is a certain atmosphere to a race. It’s the energy of getting up early, the worry of making sure you’re ready the night before, the excitement of seeing your friends and fellow competitors. It’s the music, the noise, the commotion, the controlled chaos that is the transition area. It’s a RACE and we haven’t been able to race in a year. I miss the atmosphere.

It’s the music, the noise, the commotion, the controlled chaos that is the transition area.

With HFP announcing a race series that’s actually going to happen, that means we get our atmosphere back. Yeah, that means something to me. What does it mean ……it means competition! Again virtual races allow us to compete against ourselves and allow us to compete with others via statistics. I know most triathletes are amateur statisticians, because we track everything. From our heart rate to our miles to our calories to our fat content to anything we can count, measure, or otherwise record… we’re going to do that. But that does not compare to sweating and working side by side with somebody in your age group who’s pushing hard to that same finish line . You don’t get that virtually, that takes a race and we get to RACE!!

My happy place…RACE DAY!

What does it mean ….. probably too personal (and Shannon and Jen may or may not want this said, and I suppose I have the ability to edit it out if they don’t) but it means that one family who we have all come to know and love over the last 25 years gets to stay in business and not closed their doors due to circumstances beyond their control. It’s no secret that the owners of HFP Racing have had to take other full-time jobs in order to survive this pandemic. Their world wasn’t rocked, it was shut down. Can you imagine the sheer panic of going from controlled chaos and a schedule of 40 plus races, to getting a letter that says “no permits will be issued in the foreseeable future”? These folks have a family to feed too, and they did what they had to do during this weird time to feed that family. It’s no small miracle that HFP Racing has a season this year. Many lesser people, and lesser race organizations would have, (and did) throw in the towel when it got too hard. Not HFP. They scratched and scrambled and they found a way. If we all don’t take a second to acknowledge that painful scratch and scramble, and thank them for their heart and their faith in the sport, and in you (their racers ) we might be missing the point.

Sometimes I get to know you all too much 😉

So, from a loud old fat guy – thank you Shannon and Jen for stepping up and facing this demon head on, and popping him right in the nose. I certainly admire your courage, and appreciate you more than I can say . Does it mean anything to me to be able to race again this season?

In the immortal words of Letterkenny: “figger it oot, can confirm” ! Let’s race!