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Triathlon Enters 21st Year

The Reston Triathlon, with 675 athletes registered, is gearing up for its 21st year.

On Sunday, Sept. 12, the triathletes will start at Reston's Lake Audubon with a 1-mile swim, transition into a 22.3-mile bike ride, and end with a 6.2-mile run.

Record time for the combined three events is 1 hour, 54 minutes, 47 seconds, according to the Reston Triathlon Association. The top three athletes are expected to come in around 2 hours, 2 minutes, said Bunny Bonnes, director for the event.

The board of directors for the triathlon is asking athletes to stop any training in the lake, which is illegal, prior to the September event. Every swimming event in Reston lakes must first be approved by the Reston Association (RA).

"The Reston Association has gotten a little bit more aggressive," said Bonnes, who has been involved with the triathlon since 1991.

RA is concerned about the various dangers involved with unsupervised swimming. Any athletes who decide to use the lake for practice could jeopardize the future of the Reston Triathlon and the Reston Masters Swim Team 2-mile swim.

"We can and have, and will continue to do so, issue tickets for trespassing," said Larry Butler with the Reston Association.

Although RA offered an organized practice swim, Bonnes said the timing and manpower simply didn't work out this year, but everyone can look forward to a practice swim for next year.

A first for the Reston Triathlon this year is use of the chip for timing. Its accuracy is a very sure way of timing, said Bonnes. The results can be gathered almost immediately. The electronic chip is strapped onto the athlete's ankle for the duration of the race.

Volunteers for race day are still in demand.

"These people are absolutely invaluable to us," said Bonnes. "We love them."

One of the biggest challenges, said Bonnes, is organizing enough volunteers Ñ 600 is the goal Ñ in keeping the event as a community race.

The two major sponsors of the triathlon are Reston Hospital Center and Mooring Financial Corporation, but Bonnes said there is always room for more.

"Sponsors would be lovely," said Bonnes. "We would love to have someone pay for the police support."