The 25-mile bike portion of the Westchester Triathlon isn’t just the longest leg of the race, but for many it’s also the most difficult.
Exactly why it's difficult depends on who you ask. Camila Perez-Segnini, of Rye, said the toughest part is going downhill on a bike. “I get a little scared going downhill on the bike,” said the 16-year-old Rye High School junior.
Conversely, Matt Husar, of Valhalla, found riding uphill the challenge. “It’s like the halfway point of the bike leg, and it’s just straight up hill,” he said.
Jessica Maloney, of Greenwich, CT, simply isn’t a fan of biking. “Everything just gets numb after a while,” she said. “It felt long. I had maybe five or six miles left and just felt like it should have been over already.”
Still, all finished the race Sunday as just three of the 1,600-plus that competed in the 28th annual Westchester Triathlon. Colorado’s Jordan Jones won the event for a second consecutive year. The race is made up of a 9/10ths-mile swim in the Long Island Sound, a 25-mile bike course and a 6.2-mile run.
While Perez-Segnini, Husar and Maloney might not have enjoyed the bike leg of the race, they found plenty else to praise.
“The weather was just perfect today,” said Husar, who was competing in the event for the third time. “Last year it was like in the mid-80s and humid. Today it was nice and breezy for the whole event.”
Also unlike last year, Husar crossed the finish line alone. He said he usually finds one of his children near the home stretch and carries them across the finish line. This year, though, he didn’t see them before finishing. Actually, he was still looking for them minutes after crossing the finish line.
“The thing about this event is that it’s great for kids and families, especially after the race,” he said. “They really do a great job making it fun family event, and any race that is great for families is a win.”
Perez-Segnini, competing in her second Westchester Triathlon, didn’t have any issues finding people she knew watching the race. Competing in her hometown, Perez-Segnini said she had a big crowd of friends and family out to cheer her on.
“During the race, some of the other competitors even commented on just how many people were there cheering for me and hoping for me to do well,” she said. “It’s just the best feeling to have so many friends there cheering for you. It makes you want to go faster, it really helps you.”
While Husar didn’t see his family once he entered the last leg of the race in the park, there were still hundreds of people lining the home stretch cheering for each competitor.
“It’s really great,” he said. “There’s just no pain once you get down that hill and head into the park toward the finish line.”
Similarly, Maloney said once she got to Forest Ave. she could feel the adrenaline from nearing the finish. “When you run on that street and pass the park, you just start to feel good,” she said.
Perez-Segnini enjoy another feeling that comes with the race. “I just love competing,” she said. “I love sports that really make you tired.”