By Nate Mulberg
ATLANTIC CITY — When Stephen del Monte, race director for the Atlantic City International Triathlon, and race advisory committee members Maureen Siman and Alexander Marino, first began making preparations for the inaugural Atlantic City International Triathlon back in November 2010, the trio could not have imagined that eight months later the event (slated for Sept. 18) would be categorized with well-established triathlons such as the 31st annual Honolulu Tinman Triathlon in Hawaii, and the 12th annual Las Vegas Triathlon.
In an article published June 1 by the widely popular fitness Web site Active.com, the Atlantic City International Triathlon, which is scheduled to start Sunday, Sept. 18, at 6:45am, was named one of merely “Eight Triathlons at Vacation Destinations,” giving the event recognition as being a triathlon hosted in one of the top vacation spots in North America.
In addition to the Honolulu Tinman Triathlon and the Las Vegas Triathlon, the Vineman in Sonoma County, California; Huntington’s Disease Triathlon in Key Biscayne, Florida; the Cancun Ironman 70.3 in Cancun, Mexico; the Los Angeles Triathlon, and the SheROX Bermuda 2011 in Southampton, Bermuda, joined the Atlantic City International Triathlon on Active.com’s list.
“I didn’t expect that of all the triathlons in the country — and there is a lot of them all over the place — they were going to pick [ours] as one you should go to and vacation at,” says del Monte, 34, of Wildwood Crest, who since 2003 has also produced the North Wildwood based Tri/Run Wildwood Triathlon & 5K through his race directing company, DelMoSports, LLC.
“We haven’t even put on a race yet, but what [the recognition from Active.com] shows is that Atlantic City is a national power. And being able to offer a triathlon is just another step in the evolution of progress in Atlantic City.”
How the Atlantic City International Triathlon came to be
For a sport that has, as del Monte puts it, “absolutely exploded [in popularity] since 1999,” it was only a matter of time before Atlantic City would have a triathlon of its own.
But without the collaboration and hard work of a countless number of parties, the desire of many to bring a triathlon to Atlantic City could not have come to fruition.
The process all started in mid-November of last year, when del Monte approached Ken Calemmo, COO of the Cooper Levenson Law Firm in Atlantic City. The two were at a Wildwood Catholic School-Board meeting and del Monte asked Calemmo if he knew anyone who could help him organize an Atlantic City-based triathlon.
“I had no idea [Calemmo] had any connections, I just knew he worked in the area of Atlantic City,” del Monte tells Atlantic City Weekly.
Calemmo made some phone calls to people he knew in Atlantic City and just minutes after their initial discussion, Calemmo delivered del Monte some good news.
“[Calemmo] told me, ‘It just so happens they are looking for someone to put on an event in Atlantic City,’” del Monte says.
Calemmo put del Monte in contact with Maureen Siman, VP of marketing for the Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority (ACCVA). Siman and her friend Alexander Marino, director of Carnegie Operations at the Carnegie Library Center, and assistant to the provost at Richard Stockton College, had been interested in organizing a triathlon in Atlantic City for quite a while. The pair just didn’t know how to go about putting together such a large and specialized event.