Cancellation of Triathlon does not cancel the fun

Taylor Mulcahy, 2, plays some peek-a-boo with those who pass by. - Photo by Walter Pofeldt

The sixth annual triathlon to honor Throggs Neck Benevolent Association co-founder Tom Garvey was canceled at the last minute due to a conflict with SUNY Maritime, but that didn’t stop the organization from enjoying a celebration of the community at the nearby Redwood Pleasure Club. 

The triathlon, scheduled for Saturday, June 28, was to conclude at the SUNY Maritime campus with the 5K run leg of the race, and a post-race party for all contestants and guests.

Unfortunately, the entire event, which was to include a 1/6 of a mile swim competition at the Manhem and DA Beach Club and a 10k mile bike trip from Clarance Avenue to Pelham Bay Park and back down to SUNY Maritime had to be canceled due to roadwork and other construction at the Maritime campus.

Contestants were informed of the cancellation of the race on Friday, June 27, one day before they were to compete. TNBA officials had already spent money on preliminary work related to the running of the triathlon – port-a-sans, t-shirts, food and beverages, when it was realized that there would be no final leg of the race, leading to a complete cancellation of the athletic activity, and a need to change the party’s venue.

“We were told the week of the event that SUNY-Maritime had to cancel the triathlon because of construction on their campus,” said a deeply apologetic Karin O’Conner, the event organizer for the TNBA. “Naturally, we understand that construction has to occur when none of the students are on campus and the boat is gone.  There was nothing we could do.”

The triathlon, which honors former TNBA founding board member Tom Garvey, a successful local businessman who was one of the owners of the former Throggs Neck Stadium on Schurz Avenue, had become a tradition in the community as a day where athletes from all walks of life could test their mettle with a challenging course testing many different kinds of strengths.

But instead of the triathlon, a party was held in his honor, with the Redwood Pleasure Club, on Shurz Avenue, promising to host the group of contenders on very short notice.  And all had a good time.

“It was great that Redwood were able to host us.  The staff there was tremendous,” O’Conner stated. “We were treated really well at the Redwood and were able to truly honor and support the memory of Tom Garvey.”

As for SUNY Maritime, O’Conner said that while the matter could have been handled a little bit better, she felt SUNY-Maritime showed no malicious intent.

“They have to insure that everything is in good working order for their faculty and staff,” O’Conner. “In years past, we have used the campus, but it seems like this year we hit a bump in the road.”

While TNBA officials have suggested rescheduling the triathlon for a later date this summer, they also stressed their desire to continue working with SUNY Maritime and honor Garvey’s memory in 2009.  

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