Islander Aquathon invites residents to take part in national event

Racers prep for the swimming portion of the Islander Aquathon. This year’s event will take place on July 28. - Megan Managan/Mercer Island Reporter
Racers prep for the swimming portion of the Islander Aquathon. This year’s event will take place on July 28.
— image credit: Megan Managan/Mercer Island Reporter

On July 28, Al Weaver, 74, a resident of Gig Harbor and triathlon junkie, will be joined by his grandson and at least 10 other seniors in his age bracket for the third annual Islander Aquathon. The Aquathon is a race where athletes will swim and run through Mercer Island’s Luther Burbank Park.

This year, the race is the host of the 2012 USA Triathlon Aquathon National Championship, so athletes of all ages from around the country will complete a 1,500-meter swim, followed by a 10k run. Racers can also register for the short course, which is a 750-meter swim followed by a 5k run, or the Kids’ Splash and Dash.

Despite accidents, surgeries and ongoing medical conditions, Weaver keeps coming back to swimming, running and biking.

“It’s hard to get motivated to get up and train when it’s dark outside and you know it’s going to be cold,” he said. “But once you’re 100 yards into a race, you don’t think about anything else.”

Weaver is especially excited for this year’s race, as he hopes to make the USA Triathlon rankings, which the Islander is a qualifier for. A longtime swimmer, he’s not too worried about the competition.

“There are a lot of 70-year-old runners out there,” he said. “I can out-swim ’em!”

The Islander Aquathon, USAT Aquathon National Championship will be held on Saturday, July 28, beginning at 9:30 a.m. at Luther Burbank Park on Mercer Island.

To learn more or to register for the event, visit


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