10th Columbia Triathlon was also a marathon for motorists WEST COLUMBIA


The crowd was large, the parking scarce, and for a while, people driving near Centennial Park faced traffic jams and the unnerving experience of plugging along behind riders on bicycle-clogged roadways.

Those who ventured into the clear, brisk Sunday morning air at the park to watch the 10th Annual Columbia Triathlon weren't disappointed. It was an event worth seeing.

The sight of more than 700 triathletes plunging fearlessly, and it appeared eagerly, into the bone-chilling waters of the lake to begin the event was incredible. By comparison, the bicycling and running segments of the race were rather mundane.

However, the excitement returned and the crowd responded enthusiastically as the first of the triathletes came toward the finish line.

I'm not sure how many of these gallant men and woman actually finished the race, but I can assure you this is not an event for the weak of heart, mind, body or soul.

I am sure, however, that you have to be just a little bit crazy to participate.


It's still a bit too cool for swimming, unless you're a triathlete, but spring does bring bicycles out of the basements and garages and onto Columbia's paths and roadways.

Unfortunately, it is also the beginning of a dangerous season, especially for children. In an effort to prevent many of these accidents from occurring, the residents of Harmony Hall retirement community have joined forces with Fuller's Bike Mobile, and the American Automobile Association, to sponsor a free Bicycle Safety Fair on Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m at Harmony Hall at 6336 Cedar Lane.

Children who attend will be taught the basics of bicycle safety and will have the opportunity for their bicycles to be inspected at no cost.

For additional information, please call Linda Spano at 531-6000.


Congratulations are in order for some of the talented students at Wilde Lake High School.

David Politzer and Maggie Barker have been elected president and vice president of the Student Government Association.

Maggie was also chosen to serve a second term as a teen representative to the Wilde Lake Village Board, where she will be joined by new-comer, Kelly Kilgus, who will fill a recently created, second teen representative position.

And, congratulations to Wilde Lake senior, Lexia Littlejohn, who has been offered an appointment to the U. S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn.

She will join an elite class of only 280 appointees chosen nationwide.


Charlie Chaplin fans will not want to miss the "Chaplin Revue, presented by the Slayton House Theatre, on June 4 at 7 p.m.

"The Pilgrim," "Shoulder Arms" and "A Dog's Life" are the three rare, and until recently unavailable, Chaplin film shorts to be shown.

The general admission price is $3.

Although tickets will be available at the door, reservations are suggested because seating is limited. A discussion with writer David Pierce and a coffee and dessert reception will follow the film.

For additional information or reservations, call 730-3987.


Television is a medium that promotes visual stimulation only. Unlike reading, it seldom stimulates the imagination.

The end result is, it does not make you think.

In this age of television, it sometimes seems like reading has become a lost art. This is especially true among school-aged children, who spend hours staring at a screen filled with mindless cartoons, MTV and action shows filled with gratuitous violence.

As a parent, it is up to you to help your child break away from television's hypnotic grip and get into reading.

And, the Howard County Library wants to help.

All county library branches will begin the 1993 summer reading programs on June 1. The two programs, called "Read All About It," and "The Sun Helps Me Grow," will continue until Aug. 28.

Children who complete either reading program will receive a certificate and a prize. In addition, a letter of recognition will be sent to the child's school.

Further information can be obtained by calling Jo Puckett, children's librarian, at 313-7880.

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