Hello DC Tri,
As many of you may know by now, our partner, WSEM made the announcement this morning that the DC Triathlon is canceled for 2012. You can read all of the details here (www.dctri.com). On behalf of the club's board of directors, I want to share what our response is to this cancellation. Please feel free to share/express your ideas or concerns directly to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Our number one priority is to our members. This includes the NTP participants, who are among the most directly affected since that was their goal race. The good news is that "we are on this". Program leadership is hard at work developing a mitigation plan and WE WILL continue to deliver the best newbie program and experience, period.
2. WSEM is a strong partner of the club. This is a situation which was out of their control and as such they are handling it to the best of their abilities. WSEM and DC Tri Club will continue to fulfill the agreements we have in place and we will continue to build upon the strong relationship we have developed over the years.
3. We will continue to lead (positively) by example and leverage our "voice" to support the importance of the sport of triathlon in the Washington, DC area. The board has begun discussing how we can position the strength of our 1200+ membership to advocate the importance of triathlon lifestyle, activities, events, etc in Washington, DC.
We realize this news may cause frustration, anger, etc but we are asking that our members maintain respect and lead by example in your responses/opinions towards National Park Services, DPR, WSEM, etc, etc.
Thank you and we look forward to a great 2012 season.
Ryan & The 2012 Board
Thanks for the update. I would suggest closer cooperation with groups like the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA), if you aren't in contact with them already. They try to engage in regular communications with NPS about bike use and infrastructure issues (I think).
Working on bike and sports issues may seem like an uphill battle, but combining notes and contact lists with WABA and others may help to even out the odds. They have a large membership base and experience (good and bad) in dealing with local governments and agencies like NPS. WABA is associated with the noncompetitive community Bike DC ride coming up in May. They received a permit from NPS to have Rock Creek Parkway closed off for the event. It might be interesting to hear their thoughts about the NPS permitting process.
The bipartisan Congressional Bike Caucus is another good ally to seek out. They will definitely have some influence over NPS. While the members of the caucus are not necessarily focused on athletic events, they might be more understanding about how NPS actions affect D.C.-area cyclists in general.
Here is a good place to post some comments supporting the event and expressing the importance of triathlon in a community with one of the highest obesity rates in the country.