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‘Tri’ to keep area clean

Keepin' Score, Dan Savickas

After floating down the Truckee River on the Fourth of July, I felt compelled to write my column the next week about the amount of trash left behind by my fellow rafters.

This past weekend I received many complements on the column from athletes at the 23rd annual Donner Lake International Triathlon.

But as I walked around the event, interviewing athletes and listening to the local band No Bad Barley, I began to notice something in the water.

All along the shore of Donner Lake I noticed Cliff Bar and other types of energy food wrappers.

Later on in the week, I got a call from Soda Springs General Store owner Doug Adamski. Adamski, an avid bike rider, called to speak out against the amount of trash left behind on Donner Summit by athletes during the triathlon.

“I went biking to Sugar Bowl and up to Rainbow Lodge,” Adamski said, “I saw over 50 little energy goo wrappers, several bike tubes, water bottles and Cliff Bar wrappers.”

Adamski is supportive of the triathlon, “I think it’s a great event. I saw the nice write up you did in the paper, but I think people should see both sides of it. There needs to be some type of governing body to clean up after the race is over.”

The popularity of the Donner Lake Triathlon has grown with each passing year. So this means more competitors each year. In fact, this year the triathlon had to take on a two-day format.

If everyone did their part and hung around after the competition to help clean up; we could not only clean up the mess left behind by athletes, but clean up some of the trash left behind by others. Maybe the event should take on a three-day format, with the third day being devoted entirely to clean-up.

I’d really like to see triathlons adopt the leave-no-trace philosophy.

I realize competitors take these events rather seriously, and every second counts. But in the grand scheme of things, the over-all beauty and preservation of Donner Lake and its surrounding mountains is much more important than shaving a few seconds off of one’s time.


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