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Olympic Distance Triathlon Set to Rock Riverhead

Participants will swim, bike, and run Olympic distances.

Just in time for the 2012 Summer Olympics, downtown Riverhead is set to challenge local athletes with an on Sunday.

The Apple Honda Riverhead Rocks Inaugural Olympic Distance Triathlon will take place on Sunday in downtown Riverhead beginning at 6:40 a.m.; athletes will swim 0.93-miles in the Peconic River, bike 25.6 miles and run 6.2 miles in a two-lap flat course through the heart of downtown Riverhead with a finish in front of the Suffolk Theatre. 

Organized by Dennis McDermott, owner of , the event was planned in conjunction with the Riverhead Business Improvement District and the Riverhead Community Development Agency.

A street festival is also slated to be held on the day of the event in downtown Riverhead.

Dennis McDermott, who debuted  last year and is an avid marathon runner, spoke to Town Board members along with Ray Pickersgill, president of the Business Improvement District and co-owner of, and the owners of Event Power, a Southampton-based company that promotes and organizes triathlons of various distances across Long Island.

McDermott said he believed an Olympic-distance triathlon would fit best, opposed to shorter, "sprint" triathlons that are held in other locations on the East End throughout the summer and similarly organized by Event Power, because the longer distance would bring in families overnight and prove an economic boon to the area.

McDermott added that the population running triathlons is a relatively affluent one, so by getting businesses to sign on for packages to cater to the athletes - which could number anywhere from 300 to 500 - both businesses, the triathletes, and their families could win.

"I've never seen a group of downtown businesses owners take charge like this," said Councilman John Dunleavy in January.

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