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This weekend’s Musselman Triathalon field full

Organizers for the Musselman Triathlon have announced that both the Musselman and the mini-Mussel triathlons have sold out for 2009, the first time in the races’ six-year history both events have been filled to capacity more than a week before the event date.The Musselman, a half-Iron distance swim-bike-run event, and the mini-Mussel, a sprint distance triathlon, will be held in Geneva, New York on July 18 – 19. Both races have increased in popularity consistently since their inception in 2004, when the race attracted just six hundred athletes.“The Musselman has been cited by a number of national publications, including Bicycling magazine, Inside Tri Magazine, and Triathlete Magazine, which called it the most family-friendly race in the nation,” says race spokesman C. D. Henderson. “It’s attracted quite a bit of attention nationally, which is probably part of the reason we’re seeing participation grow even as the economy suffers.”This year’s race has attracted more than 1,700 athletes from as far away as Japan and Cambodia. A record thirty-five states and three Canadian provinces are represented this year, says Henderson, including athletes from a number of west-coast states, including California and Hawaii.Despite its reputation as a ‘can’t miss’ race nationally, Henderson says a large number of Musselman triathletes hail from across upstate and central New York.“Every year we see more and more local athletes being inspired and beginning to train for the next year’s Musselman,” Henderson says. “This year we have a group of seven women from the Finger Lakes training as a team. They call themselves ‘Heart, Wine, & Soul,’ and for most this will be their first race. We also have a number of former race volunteers who this year will become race participants. The Musselman seems to have that effect on people – it makes them want to work hard, get in shape, and become triathletes.”Henderson points out that, while both the Musselman and the sprint-distance mini-Mussel are filled to capacity, the musselKids race, held Sunday afternoon, still has openings for registration, and the organizational committee is still looking for volunteers for all races.“This is a great opportunity for people to come out and support the race, and maybe check out the sport for the first time,” says Henderson. “Help out, or just observe, this year – and perhaps come back as a Musselman in 2010.”

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