No bicycling. No problem.
The Nahant Beach Triathlon is celebrating its 35th year and though the bicycling portion is no more, the event is still a popular weekly summertime tradition among area triathlon enthusiasts.
Lynn resident Robert Levine, 67, is the chief executive officer of the Series while Jerry Powers, 69, is the co-race director of the event that is sponsored by the Lynn Athletic Association and the Nahant Beach Elite Triathlete Association.
The triathlon is held 14 weeks a year, beginning on the last Thursday of May and continuing through the last Thursday of August.
The event consists of a quarter-mile swim toward the Tides Restaurant and a 3.75-mile run from Nahant Beach to Red Rock Park and back. The 4.75-mile bicycle ride was eliminated this year when officials were unable to receive permission from the Town of Nahant due to logistical and safety concerns.
“We lost about 40 percent of our regular participants because people wanted to do the bicycling and they wanted to do Nahant because it’s a good course,” said Levine. “It was very tough to lose the bicycle part because a lot of our participants are athletes who compete in triathlons worldwide.”
Powers, who has competed in ironman triathlons and world triathlon championships in Hawaii, Lake Placid, Sweden, and Spain, is hopeful that the bicycling in the triathlon will return in the future.
Powers said that Levine is in a class by himself as a triathlon coordinator.
“Bob Levine has a heart of gold,” said Powers. “He just donated 35th anniversary jackets to all of the triathletes. Bob does a lot for the athletes.”
Levine, who attended Lynn Trade and has worked at General Electric for 45 years, said approximately 20 athletes are competin
g each week in the Nahant Series.
Angel Green, a former player for the Latin Academy girls basketball team, said the triathlon is a well-run and fun event.
“I think this triathlon helps to keep me healthy,” said Green. “I’m grateful to have this opportunity to stay health, practice my swimming, and meet new people.”