The Tupper Lake Tinman is one of the oldest running triathlons in the US
Beginning in 1983 with 68 competitors taking part, the Tinman is a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run and is one of oldest triathlons in the United States It's only three years younger than Ironman Hawaii, and its pioneering demeanor is evident in the fact that the word "triathlon" was added to the Ninth Edition of the Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary the first year the Tinman took place.
"The idea was to get an event, that would grow and would become a solid, annual event that would be economically and athletically helpful for the area," said Keith Walsh of Saranac Lake, who was the Tinman race director for the first three years. "We also wanted to bring an event to Tupper Lake that would celebrate the beauty of the area and everything that goes with a race like this."
In a pre-Powerbar and Powerade era, the first Tinman Triathlon was homegrown and hardcore. The bikes were heavier, wetsuits were rare, bike racks were wooden, buoys were made of milk jugs and the finish line was held by two people on either side. However, the competitive spirit was there from the start, including Ironman qualification status in its second year, and the improvements came with experience.
One thing that has always remained the same with the Tinman is the volunteer support that turns out every year. With over 400 locals showing up to support the athletes from ages eight to 75, the volunteers and the overall Tupper Lake community are the heart of the race.
Read the full article about the Tinman Tradition by Noelle Short