Registration open for Marshalton Triathlon

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In an era where the only constant is change, the Marshalton Triathlon has stood the test of time. Set against the backdrop of the bucolic countryside of Chester County, the Marshalton Triathlon is considered one of the country’s longest-running triathlons, a designation that suits the historic Village of Marshallton just fine.

So, what’s the secret to its longevity? The rolling hills of Chester County, coupled with the unpredictable energy of the Brandywine River, make the race course enticing to seasoned triathletes and weekend warriors alike. It is also not uncommon to find yourself navigating the race course next to athletes as young as eight years old, the minimum age required to participate. Consisting of 4 legs and three events—cycling, canoeing, and speedwalking—you can take your time or race competitively, but the sense of accomplishment and festive atmosphere awaiting you at the finish line is palpable to all.

John Barr, Board Member of the Marshalton Triathlon Festival and the Marshallton Conservation Trust, will be participating in his 46th Marshalton Triathlon this year and believes it is the pristine open space of the scenic Chester County landscape, which has

remained virtually unchanged since the inception of the Marshalton Triathlon in the 1970s due to conservation efforts by organizations like the Marshallton Conservation Trust, that keeps people coming back. And the unpredictability of Mother Nature, well, that just adds to its charm. As John Barr reminisces, ”In all the years I have done this race, the weather has ranged from beautiful sunlight peeking through the leaves to fog and mist so thick you weren’t sure where you were paddling to some years so cold you could hardly feel your fingers. One year, there was even a bald eagle flying down the river above us.”

While competing in a triathlon requires strength and stamina, planning, organizing, and managing a triathlon is also no easy feat. The Triathlon is supported by volunteers and community organizations like Northbrook Canoe Company, which has provided the canoes and volunteers for the paddle portion of the race every year and never misses a beat. In addition, the West Bradford Fire Company provides course management, and the Marshalton Inn has been the official start and finish line since

1973. You might say that this deep-rooted sense of community has been the driving force behind the Marshalton Triathlon since its inception. After all, the idea for the Marshalton Triathlon was initially conceived at the Marshalton Inn in 1973 by owners George Mershon and Jack McFadden as a way to support the all-volunteer West Bradford Fire Company, which still remains the primary beneficiary.

Like most nonprofit organizations, the Marshalton Triathlon has felt the impact of the COVID pandemic, which forced its cancellation in 2020 and 2021. Since then, Triathlon organizers have been working hard to rebuild its base to its pre-COVID participation numbers of 1,500+ triathletes. Cendrine Gemberling, President of the Marshalton Triathlon Festival Board and Board Member of the Marshallton Conservation Trust, states that 2023 has been particularly challenging. “Unfortunately, we are currently experiencing a 40% drop in registrations versus a year ago. But we remain hopeful that we will rally support going into our final two weeks of registration to make this another successful year for the

Marshalton Triathlon.” With the 50th anniversary only a year away, the community’s determination to continue the legacy of the Marshalton Triathlon is unwavering. And if history has taught us anything, the Village of Marshallton is up to the task.

Online registration for the 49th Marshalton Triathlon continues through September 27th at midnight. For event details and to register, please visit

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