Collins Lake is still a bit cloudy, but it’s no longer clogged with the mud or debris left by last year’s massive flooding.
So with the lake clear enough for canoe and kayak recreation, the Schenectady County Pedal-Paddle-Run will return in full force this weekend. The still infant county triathlon was one of many events throughout the Capital Region to be canceled last year in the aftermath of tropical storms Irene and Lee.
The second annual event will begin at 8:30 a.m. Saturday in Collins Park. Participants will bike a 7.5-mile road course through the village of Scotia and town of Glenville, then run a 5K in Scotia, and then kayak or canoe about 1.6 miles (two laps) around Collins Lake.
About 120 people participated in the first year of the triathlon, in 2010.
Individuals 15 and older can complete the triathlon themselves, or individuals 12 and older can compete as a team, with each member completing a section of the race in relay fashion. A two-person team would have one person run, the other bike and both paddling. A three-person team would have each individual compete in one portion of the race. And a four-person would have one person run, one bike, and two more paddle.
Corporate and family teams can enter, as well.
Participants are responsible for their own bikes, helmets, kayaks, canoes, paddles and life preservers. However, kayak rentals are available at several local businesses, including Adirondack Paddle’n’Pole, the Boat House or Eastern Mountain Sports. Participants will also receive a T-shirt, race bag and other items.
Plaine and Son of Schenectady will be on hand Saturday to help with bike repairs, safety checks and other last-minute equipment needs. No-Nonsense Therapeutic Massage will offer complimentary chair massages for race participants, and the Glenville Family YMCA will have a bounce house for kids.
Registration is open online at www.schenectadycounty.com/ppr. Fees range from $10 to $30, depending on age and time of registration. Competitors who register the day of the race will pay an extra fee. The website also provides a link for those who want to volunteer as race marshals or help with event setup, registration, water stations, safety checks and more.
And for people looking to load up on carbohydrates the night before, Scotia-Glenville Kiwanis will is hosting a pre-race dinner at the Glenville Senior Center on Worden Road. Adults can eat in or take out a cavatelli dinner for $8, children for $6, and a family of four for $26. Call Jennifer Lotano at 399-3407 for tickets.
Proceeds benefit childhood obesity prevention and other wellness programs sponsored by the county’s Public Health Department.
The beach at Collins Lake was shut down this summer because its water wasn’t clear enough to meet state Department of Health requirements for swimming. Floodwaters containing fine clay silt left the lake cloudy, and as of July, water was only clear enough to see 2 feet down. Four feet of clarity is needed for safety reasons.
The lake was treated with a chemical called alum to help precipitate sediment, but officials believed it would take another season to clear itself. Regardless, state visibility restrictions are only for beach purposes — not boating or fishing.
A village employee said Wednesday that although the lake is still too cloudy for swimmers, there is no safety risk for boats of any kind.