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Friday, June 6, 2014 at 3:33 pm

QuakerMan Triathlon to be held on Father's Day at Darien Lakes State Park

post by Billie Owens in Darien Lakes State Park, sports, triathalon

Press release:

Eclipse Multi Sport descends upon Darien Lakes State Park to feature a family friendly Father’s Day event -- the QuakerMan Triathlon starting at 8 a.m. on June 15.

Eclipse Multi Sport race management is based in Western New York, and has produced multiple USA Triathlon-sanctioned events for the past 13 years. The popularity of Triathlon as a sport is growing, and realizing Genesee County’s own vast state park was a perfect fit for a new event.

Eclipse Multi Sport is proud to partner with Darien Lakes State Park in featuring a sprint and Olympic caliber distance multi-sport event. There will be multiple opportunities to participate, making it fun for the whole family!

An Olympic, sprint, Aquabike, Duathlon, relay team category and even a kids' tri-event in one day! With a beautiful body of water (swim) and a great trail system (run), as well as suitable road conditions (bike) in and around the park, this makes for a wonderful venue.

Over the past several years we have had a large amount of athletes reach out to us via e-mail to see if our events can extend farther east. Landing in Genesee County is an exciting opportunity for us and the recreational community,” said Dan Horan, founder/race director of Eclipse Multi Sport.

“Knowing this would be a great event setting for athletes of all ages, we researched what it would take to develop an event at the park. Putting many heads together so quickly was a testament to the community.”

The event will be recognized as a USAT sanctioned Triathlon as well as the July 19th, Nickel City Triathlon in Buffalo and, on Aug. 2, the Wilson Wet & Wild Triathlon. These multi-sport events make up Eclipse Multi Sports summer Triathlon series.

For details about each event please visiteclipsemultisport.com <http://eclipsemultisport.com/>

Triathlons are a fairly large undertaking because of the three disciplines involved -- swim, bike and run -- so they require a lot of work to put together. But Eclipse Multi Sport, Darien Lakes State Park, New York State Park Police, Genesee County Sheriff’s Dept.and other Genesee County authorities have come up with a fun and exciting race course.

Eclipse Multi Sport is entering its fifth year producing and managing races of all distances from 5Ks, half marathons, obstacles runs with mud, to Triathlons & Duathlons. All told, Eclipse has almost 25 years within its staff working in the race management industry.

Saturday, August 10, 2013 at 3:50 pm

Photos: Disc golf lessons at Darien Lakes State Park

post by Howard B. Owens in Darien, Darien Lakes State Park, disk golf, sports

Dylan Maychoss, of Pembroke, and Zoe Thayer, of Pembroke, were at the Darien Lakes State Park this morning on the park's disc golf course to practice their game, getting tips from pro Paul Stephens.

Thursday, August 8, 2013 at 3:31 pm

Sponsored Post: Disc Golf! The newest sports craze at Darien Lakes State Park!

By Lindsay Hawkins

The Newest Sports Craze at Darien Lakes State Park -- Disc Golf!

Think of traditional golf -- but with Frisbees. There, you have disc golf! If throwing is not your forte (like myself), the course may seem intimidating -- but don’t let that deter you from trying it out at Darien Lakes State Park’s beautiful 18-hole Angry Apple Disc Golf Course.

The object of disc golf, much like traditional, is to “complete each hole in the fewest number of strokes” (or throws in this case), according to the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA). There are even specific discs like there are golf clubs! You start from a tee area and aim for the target  an elevated metal basket. At Darien Lakes, the course winds through an old apple orchard and wooded hills, presenting quite a fun challenge for players. 

Also known as Frisbee golf, disc golf is a great way to spend time outside with family or friends. Kids to seniors can be seen on the course, which starts just behind the contact station at the entrance to the park. There are three separate tees to accommodate all levels of expertise, so everyone can participate!

Doug Kelly, park manager at Darien Lakes, brought the sport to the park over a year ago, to much success. He knew the park had the perfect land and setup for a disc golf course. Professional golfers and amateurs have visited the park solely to try the course. 

“The sport has a fairly easy learning curve so you can get proficient rather quickly,” Kelly said. “The idea for the course was to create a fun design that would cater both to experienced golfers and those who are just being introduced to the sport. It’s a great way to spend a few hours relaxing while playing at your own pace.”

Disc golf actually has a local connection! In 1970, a group of people from Rochester had been playing disc golf with tournaments and leagues -- they even had a championship event by 1972. The next year, they discovered the International Frisbee Association and turned their championship event into a national one -- the American Flying Disc Open. From there, disc golf was incorporated as an event in the World Frisbee Championship, and then the PDGA was formed. 

The course is open year-round (yes, if you are feeling adventurous, you can play in the winter!) The park will soon be renting and selling discs for use on the course, but keep in mind that there is a lot of foliage surrounding the course and you don’t want to lose your disc! 

Players get to see a secluded part of the park, which is both serene and scenic, while getting in some exercise and relaxation. Visit Darien Lakes' hidden treasure and see what this up-and-coming sport is all about!

Darien Lakes State Park is located at 10475 Harlow Road in Darien.
Call (585) 547-9242 for more information about disc golf and the park.

Sunday, March 24, 2013 at 11:06 am

Doug Kelly brings innovation and a passion for the outdoors to job at Darien Lakes State Park

post by Howard B. Owens in Darien, Darien Lakes State Park, parks, recreation

NOTE: Earlier this year, the Chamber of Commerce published its annual Genesee County Tourism magazine and for the second year in a row, The Batavian participated in the publication by producing photos and stories. Today, for our Sunday reading, we're publishing four of our stories. For more on why Genesee County is a great place to live and to visit, click here for VisitGeneseeNY.com.

Doug Kelly gets to do things every day he really enjoys: Helping to maintain a diverse and interesting ecosystem and providing people with a place to play and relax.

"This park is a kind of joy for me," said Kelly, who is manager for Darien Lakes State Park. "I enjoy being able to work outdoors and have interaction with people who have come to be in the outdoors. I can teach them a little and give them something to enjoy."

Kelly overseas a more than 1,800 acres of woodlands and meadows with thousands of plant and animals species, a 12-acre recreational lake (boating, swimming and fishing), and 158 campsites.

In his four-year tenure as park manager he's introduced weekly music concerts and disk golf as well as overseen various conservation measures, including partnering with a local group to reclaim several acres of former farmland into meadows.

The park is traversed by more than 18 miles of trails, both for hiking and snowmobiling, and the picturesque-in-places Eleven Mile Creek.

"The amount of open space is really one of the park's strengths," Kelly said. "There are a variety of paths for activities and all of it is open for recreation, hiking, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, hunting. That's a real plus for the park. You're able to camp here, hike here, swim here. That's the benefit of the park."

Kelly, who is married with two school-age children, lives in his hometown of Perry, in Wyoming County, just south of Genesee County. He started his parks career as a teenager at Darien Lakes, working as a recreation assistant.

As he completed his bachelor's in technology of wildlife management at SUNY Catskills, he moved his way up in park management. After a stint with the Delaware parks system, he moved back to New York and managed Beaver Island on Grand Island.

When the chance came to return to Darien Lakes, he couldn't let the opportunity pass by.

"The biodiversity of the park is special," Kelly said. "The land can vary so much, from older forest -- stands of trees that have been here before the park was formed -- to meadows we are helping to restore and maintain, and the shrub in between. That kind of layout gives the park a great number of different communities and habitats."

One of Kelly's biggest innovations at the park has been disk golf. The year-old course is bringing in amateur and pro golfers alike from throughout Western New York. Expert golfers find that the new course, which winds through an old apple orchard and wooded hills, presents a fun challenge.

Though Kelly doesn't play the sport himself, he learned how successful a course could be at Beaver Island.

"To see people that come in, a new group of people that never would have come if we didn't have this activity here, is really exciting," Kelly said.

He believes the challenging course will grow in popularity as more disk golfers learn about it.

All-in-all, Kelly said he will continue to work to find ways to improve the park and make it more attractive to the people of Western New York.

"Once in a while I hear, 'wow, I never knew this park was here,' " Kelly said. "If we can reach out and grab people who wouldn't normally come to the park and then they see what we have and come back year after year, that is really good."

Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 12:32 pm

Photo: Sunrise at Harlow Lake

post by Howard B. Owens in Darien, Darien Lakes State Park, Harlow Lake, photos

This morning, I was out of the house early with the specific intention of driving to Darien Lakes State Park to get a picture of the sunrise over Harlow Lake. It's sort of been on my list of local pictures to get for a couple of years.

Below, another picture from Darien Lakes, and a landscape taken on Walker Road in Darien.

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