Annual Onset triathlon gets new name, location

By Matthew Bernat | Mar 11, 2017
Photo by: Andrew Griffith A cyclist rides in Onset during 2014's Escape the Cape Triathlon.

“Escape the Cape?” Not this year.

After seven years of being held in Onset, the Escape the Cape Triathlon is no more. Race organizers decided to rename and move the event in response to athlete feedback.

“We were looking at every which way we could to keep it right in Onset,” said Race Director Tim Richmond. “One of the reasons why we wanted to move was to alleviate some of the congestion on the bike course.”

This year, participants will swim, run and ride a new course during The Harvest Triathlon at A.D. Makepeace Co. property. Escape the Cape featured a 1/3 mile swim starting at Shell Point, a 10-mile bicycle leg through Onset Village and ended with a 3.1-mile run.

One complaint from participants and residents about the race was overcrowded roads as cyclists jockeyed with drivers for space.

“A lot of folks enjoyed how beautiful the Onset course is, but athletes said the bike course is too crowded,” said Richmond. “We worked diligently with the police department over the years. It was time to look at a different location though, and we are so happy to keep it right in Wareham.”

Richmond, who owns and operates Max Performance, a company that hosts five similar races in the state, said The Harvest Triathlon will feature similar distances. However, the course will weave through acres of open space at A.D. Makepeace.

Escape the Cape attracted hundreds of people from across Massachusetts and southern New England any given year. Richmond said he expects similar attendance, if not slightly more, with the new location.

According to A.D. Makepeace Director of Events Kim Houdlette, the cranberry growing company is happy to host.

“We’re excited to partner with Max Performance to bring this event to our unique property,” said Houdlette. “I think participants will enjoy it.”

Houdlette noted that A.D. Makepeace headquarters is a popular destination for a variety of events. Many 5Ks, car shows, fundraisers and weddings are held at the property. The marquee event, however, is the annual Cranberry Festival, which attracts thousands of people from across the globe every autumn.

Houdlette said Max Performance's race is a welcome addition.

“They have a great reputation, and I think it will be a good partnership,” she said.

The Harvest Triathlon is scheduled for Saturday, June 10. For more information or to register, click here.

Comments (10)
Posted by: totellthetruth | Mar 11, 2017 19:35

Onset loses AGAIN!

Posted by: Snowman | Mar 12, 2017 10:50

I am very sorry to hear that Onset will not be hosting this event.  I hope that the snarky, lame brained comments like the guy that had to wait for traffic to park his boat after years race was not a factor however I am sure it did not help.

It is a damn shame.  This is the positive type of exposure Onset desperately needs and we just gave it away.

Posted by: Theresa ONeill | Mar 12, 2017 19:59

Maneuvering the bike course through the Village was difficult for riders/drivers which is not safe so it makes sense that they chose to have it in an area where the roads can be closed for the event. Unfortunate, but Onset can still host a similar event.

Posted by: Chaka | Mar 12, 2017 20:09

What sort of similar event could Onset host? Where on the makepeace property can they swim? Very sorry to hear this event is leaving.

Posted by: Society for Suppression of Noise | Mar 12, 2017 22:47

We're surprised that Onset is too crowded for a successful triathlon?  When most of the town is essentially banned from Onset during the summer?

Posted by: greycat | Mar 13, 2017 14:07

The real eason the triathalon left Onset is the excessive fee demands of the TOWN.  A. D. Makepeace is private property!

Posted by: Snowman | Mar 13, 2017 15:07

Grey Cat (and Wareham Week)

Can you validate your excessive fee comment?  Obviously there are costs for Officer Details from the WPD, and maybe involving the WFD Paramedic but if the Town is pricing us out of the market with excessive fees to Key Events with great publicity such as this, I am going to be even more ticked off and will want to pursuit it further. 

If this is valid, what are the other towns mentioned in this article charging as Events Fees.  Are they all on Private Property?

Perhaps Wareham Week can look into this for us?

Posted by: Steve Holmes | Mar 13, 2017 15:17

This was a great event for the village. I would like to see the excessive fees as well, as I don't recall those. Tim and his team were great to work with. In looking back at the archives some folks did not want this event because of the bikes. Too bad, with plenty of advanced notice they could not accommodate some bikes for an hour or so. Many village residents don't like any events to be held maybe this will be the start of their wish come true.

Posted by: deliveryguy10 | Mar 13, 2017 19:41

It is certainty a sad day for Onset. I started doing triathlon because of this race which goes right by my house. The people on the course I have been nothing but amazing and the village turnout and energy is allot of fun.


That said the bike ride down great neck road is simply too dangerous unless they were going to close the road. It is a tight road as is add in bike riders on both sides, passing bikes at 25 mph on both sides and it sooner or later was going to cause a bad accident.


Max Performance typically puts on a safe and fun race and I am sure Tim did all he could but probably came to same conclusion. I highly doubt it had anything to do with fees.


I will forever be thankful for this event and miss it.

Posted by: kevinc687 | Mar 14, 2017 08:11

CHAKA, there is a beautiful pond by the old gun club clubhouse for them to swim in with a nice beach

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