Josh Ritchie of Tallmadge trains 24-7 to be the world's best triathlete. He'll see whether his work has paid off at this weekend's Summa International Sports Festival. Ritchie is one of 800 athletes from North America, Australia, and Europe invited to run, bike, and swim toward the $2,000 first prize. "There is no real off-season for this sport," says Ritchie, who finished third last year at the world championships in Atlanta.
The festival starts Saturday with a women's race that includes a 250-yard swim, a seven-mile bike ride, and a two-mile run. Race-day entry fees are $40, and registration begins at 7 a.m. "My goal is total life fitness," says competitor Sally Price, an Akron resident. "Everyone can find some time in their day to devote to exercise."
At 11 a.m. Sunday, the invitation-only feature race opens with a half-mile swim on Portage Lake, followed by an 18-mile bike ride on country roads and a four-mile run to the finish line. Throughout the day, spectators can visit the Sports & Fitness Expo, with displays and demonstrations on healthy eating and staying in shape. It starts at 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday at Portage Lakes State Park, 5031 Manchester Road in Akron. Admission is free; call 740-342-0853. -- Cris Glaser
Combat kites square off over Edgewater Park.
In case you were wondering, American rules will be applied to this weekend's fighter-kite competitions at the Cleveland Kite Festival. That means no line-cutting is allowed. But traditional fighter kites are permitted -- and if you've never seen one of these in action, you're in for a treat. Basically, participants hoist their kites into the air and attempt to knock the competition out of the sky. And, yes, it's as cool as it sounds. But if you're one of those non-fighter-kite-flying sissies, there's plenty of other stuff going on too (like races, tips, and demonstrations). It happens from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Edgewater Park (6500 Cleveland Memorial Shoreway). Admission is free; call 330-274-2818. -- Michael Gallucci
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