Since 2010, the Rochester Area Triathletes (RATs) has been organizing this late summer classic triathlon featuring a safe but challenging closed-course on the shores of Lake Ontario. In the early days of the race, the race was well supported with SMP as the signature for many years. As the sport began to fade in the region the 2010's, so did the race and attendance started to wane. SMP was acquired and the largest financial supported was gone.
As with every race in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled the ROC but that didn't stop RATs from regrouping under new club leadership in July. Triathletes that were forced to train solo began to safely regroup for workouts setting up transition by their cars to keep social distance. Over the course of the year, RATs had rebranded the club and race, changed the culture, with membership doubling to 150 and it hasn't slowed since.
In late May of 2021, New York relaxed outdoor restrictions allowing for gatherings of up to 250 people. RATs pulled the trigger, immediately filed for permits, and nervously announced the 10th Anniversary ROC Tri was a "GO".
With less than 12 weeks to plan and no signature sponsor, RATs formed a local collaboration with Wolfpack MultiSport to assist with the race. Despite a little bit of rain, the ROC was held August 22nd and was a huge success, selling out in a few weeks. Shortly afterward, TruePath Racing became the new signature sponsor.
With no COVID restrictions, a new bike course, a new run course, and a reinvigorated triathlon community, the 2022 ROC Tri shattered every previous years record for athlete attendance (332), sponsors (11), and spectator experience. Unfortunately, Lake Ontario didn't cooperate and forced the difficult decision to cancel the swim portion making the race a Duathlon. The buzzing crowd lined Lakeshore Boulevard and the new routes for the bike and run provided an athlete experience that went beyond expectations.
Building off the successes of the previous two years, including RATs being named Ironman Tri Club of the Week, USAT began to take notice. After submitting a bid to host over the summer, USAT awarded the ROC Tri as the site of the 2023 New York State Championships for the first time in our regions history. The event will take place August 26th, 2023 and the spirit of the race will remain the same:
All Athletes, All Levels, All Welcome!
We hope you'll join us for this special day.