Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

March 6, 2014

YMCA triathlon renamed in local cyclist's memory

By Judy Wakefield
jwakefield@andovertownsman.com

---- — From the start, Roger Smith was a regular competitor in the Andover/North Andover YMCA’s indoor triathlon.

A fitness buff and avid cyclist who worked out regularly at his local YMCA, the longtime Andover resident was among the first to sign up when the event was introduced nine years ago.

Smith became an annual participant. When a family commitment conflicted with the date of the March 2012 competition, he even came into the YMCA to complete the race on his own, Cara Green, the facility’s member advancement director, said.

Later that year, Smith, who would log thousands of miles cycling annually, was thrown from his bicycle while on a lengthy ride with three friends that went through Ipswich on Labor Day weekend. Despite wearing a helmet, he suffered severe head trauma and died in a Boston hospital on Oct. 11, 2012.

This year, the YMCA Indoor Tri is being renamed after the 66-year-old man who left behind his wife, Susan, and two daughters.

“Naming this race after Roger is a perfect fit,” Green said. “He participated every year. He formed strategies for himself and other participants.”

The memorial event is set for Saturday, March 15, from 1 to 4 p.m. Green said Smith’s family will be on hand for the day,

The triathlon is open to adults, children and teams, with all the action taking place inside the YMCA’s 165 Haverhill St. facility.

Adults will complete a 20-minute swim in the YMCA pool, 20-minute cycling segment on an upright stationary bike and a 20-minute run on a treadmill. For children, each segment is reduced to 15 minutes. There are five-minute intervals between each discipline.

Participants may enter the race as an individual or as a team. All abilities are welcome.

Registration is $15 for YMCA members, $30 for nonmembers. To sign up, visit www.MVYMCA.org or stop by the YMCA. For more information, contact Green at 978-685-3541 or cgreen@mvymca.org.