I-Tri Girls Try Biking at the Springs School

Training for the I-Tri triathletic and mentoring program’s Youth Triathlon
Annette MacNiven, who is a world-class mountain-bike racer, was one of three experienced long-distance athletes — the others being Sharon McCobb and Diane O’Donnell — who schooled I-Tri girls in the fine points of cycling Saturday. Jack Graves

   Forty or so girls from the Montauk and Springs Schools who are training for the I-Tri triathletic and mentoring program’s Youth Triathlon at Maidstone Park in July took part in a bicycle session at the Springs School Saturday with Sharon McCobb, Annette MacNiven, and Diane O’Donnell, coaches who have extensive swimming, biking, and long-distance running experience.
    McCobb recently was named president of the Old Montauk Athletic Club, replacing John Conner. The club has been a force in advancing the cause of athletics here for a number of years now.
    I-Tri has likewise been very successful in carrying out its mission, which has been to transform middle school girls who otherwise would be “couch potatoes” into confident student-triathletes. I-Tri’s founder, Theresa Roden, said Tuesday that there are 50 members at the Montauk and Springs Schools at present, and that there are plans to bring I-Tri to East Hampton High School next year.
    “Adolescent girls go through a tough time when they are unsure of who they are, of how they fit in,” Roden once said in describing the program. “I-Tri gives them a common ground, something they can be a part of that is bigger than themselves. It’s about empowerment.”
    This afternoon, she said, I-Tri’s seventh and eighth grade “alums” are to take part in a Retreat-run seminar on domestic violence at the Springs Presbyterian Church while I-Tri’s new sixth-grade members from Springs are to take part in a free conditioning and nutrition session at the Epic Strength and Conditioning Studio next to the Maidstone Market.
    The June 15 Turbo Tri (300-yard swim, 7-mile bike, and 1.5-mile run) for competitors ages 17 and up is the program’s chief fund-raiser, Roden said, “though we’re always looking for sponsors.” It is estimated that the program’s costs average about $2,000 annually per participant. The Youth Triathlon, whose course is the same as the Turbo Tri, is held in July.
    “After the Turbo Tri,” Roden said, “we’re going to have a dinner honoring the Town Police Department’s DARE officer, Kim Notel.”