30th annual Heatwave Classic Triathlon winds through Ridgeland - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

30th annual Heatwave Classic Triathlon winds through Ridgeland

RIDGELAND, MS (Mississippi News Now) - More than three hundred folks from seven states took on a triple challenge for the 30th annual Heatwave Classic Triathlon in Ridgeland Saturday morning. The trio of events pushed participants to their physical limits.

"Some people want to do it and some people think you're crazy," noted triathlete Allen Stanfield.

Ridgeland has played host to the Heatwave Classic Triathlon for three decades now. 

"It's a great location. All the venues that you need are right here," said Ridgeland Recreation and Parks' Special Events Coordinator Wendy Bourdin.

A half mile swim in the Ross Barnett Reservoir kicked things off, followed by a 27 mile bike ride.

"I think our bike course, because it's an outback on the Natchez Trace, is great for the cyclist because there's not a lot of turns for them, so they can get their speed up," said Bourdin. "It's real serious. I think it's competitive."

The athletes were greeted by supporters as they zoomed in for the transition of the final leg of the competition, a 6.2 mile run.

"There were a lot of locals out on the run course just walking and biking the trace," described triathlete Richard Parker. "And a lot of them stopped to clap and cheer. So that was very nice."

Winner Allen Stanfield finished in less than two hours.

"I came here to win," Stanfield admitted. "I did a race in Fairhope last weekend. I was second. So, I had to sign up for this and come on out and give it a shot."

Ridgeland Mayor Gene McGee said "It's very good for our economy. "Folks come in on Friday night, spend the night, eat in restaurants, shop in our stores. And then spend the day here on Saturday and a lot of them even stay through Sunday."

The Mayor says it's a win-win for the city.

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