2020 Stissing Triathlon canceled, due to COVID-19

PINE PLAINS — Having anticipated their participation in an intense competition this summer to raise money for a worthwhile cause, athletes from the local area and beyond were disappointed to learn that the Stissing Triathlon, scheduled for Sunday, June 28, was canceled as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. However, already looking ahead to the future, the race’s director, Coach Mark Wilson from Wilson Endurance Sports, announced that the much-anticipated triathlon has been rescheduled for Sunday, June 27, 2021 and that all participants who pre-registered for this year’s event will be automatically deferred to next year.

Wilson said organizers decided they would be unable to host the event based on the current COVID-19 pandemic as well as the concerning number of COVID-19 cases in New York and elsewhere.

“It would be such a logistical challenge for sure,” he said, “and we didn’t want to put any of our athletes or volunteers at risk, so we decided to defer everyone to the next year, so nobody loses anything.”

Prior to the event’s cancellation, Wilson said there were already 135 athletes who pre-registered for this year’s Stissing Triathlon. Having drawn 180 participants to last year’s event, he said they were expecting 200 participants this summer. Given how well-received the Stissing Triathlon has been throughout the years, Wilson said he expects the event will still do well next year. In the event that the participants who signed up for the triathlon are unable to participate next year, he said they’re welcomed to transfer to other sporting events organized by Wilson Endurance Sports, such as the Cooperstown Triathlon, the Ticonderoga Triathlon Festivals or the Delta Lake Triathlon.

Seeing as last year’s Stissing Triathlon raised money to support the Pine Plains Recreation Program, Wilson said that while they won’t be able to donate to that program this year due to its cancellation, partial proceeds from next year’s event will go toward the rec department. Additionally, a total of $500 will be donated to the Pine Plains Lions Club to use its pavilion on Beach Road to host the triathlon.

Reflecting on the ways in which COVID-19 has impacted his work, Wilson said, “This is a big way we earn our living, so we’re struggling, but you can’t move ahead with an entire situation like this. You have to change and adapt and so we’re doing so and we’re modifying our life and trying to make it through the year.”

Residents may direct their questions to Wilson via email at coachmarkwilson@gmail.com or by phone at 914-466-9214. For more information, go to www.CoachMarkWilson.com.

With a time of 1 hour, 16 minutes and 9 seconds, Rebecca Wassner from New Paltz crossed the finish line as one of the top three female competitors in last year’s Stissing Triathlon. Archived photo by Kaitlin Lyle

Competing in the Stissing Triathlon last summer, participants from the local region and beyond set off on a course that featured a one-half mile swim at the Pine Plains Beach, followed by a 16.5 mile bike race and a 3.3 mile run around the lake. Archived photo by Kaitlin Lyle

With a time of 1 hour, 16 minutes and 9 seconds, Rebecca Wassner from New Paltz crossed the finish line as one of the top three female competitors in last year’s Stissing Triathlon. Archived photo by Kaitlin Lyle

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