The scene above is from many moons ago, but this is the very spot where Day 1 (Rochester River Challenge Duathlon & Paddle Tri) is hosted.
Cyclists turn to start their 20 mile ride and paddlers would paddle under the bridge, while runners run by. Indeed the scene now is much more modernized, so it wouldn't be a dirt road, but you can just envision what it was like yesteryear. Today, this is the corner of Elmwood Avenue and Moore Rd (entrance to the park) and the University of Rochester is opposite Moore Rd. Day 1 is specifically hosted out of the Genesee Waterways Center, which in the above picture is on the other side of the river on the south side of the bridge (the left side).
Genesee Valley Park was formed from land first acquired by the Park Commission in 1888. Genesee Valley Park is among the many parks in NY state designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. Within Rochester, other Frederick Law Olmsted parks include Highland Park and Seneca Park.
Olmstead had originally designed the east and west sides of the park to have different purposes. The east side was intended to provide the feeling of a large pasture while the west side was for more recreational activities. At Olmstead's suggestion, a flock of 80 sheep was introduced into the park in 1893, which added to the pastoral sense of the park and also helped to keep the grass trimmed.
In 1917, the golfcourse that cyclist pass by on the start of their 20 mile trek was expanded from 9 to 18 holes. The Barge (Erie) Canal was merged with Genesee River within the park on May 10, 1918. (this info gathered by Wikipedia)
Today Genesee Valley Park hosts many events from regattas, to running, cycling, family picnics, concerts and simple weekend excursions. Its open to the public and while there isn't any livestock wandering the grounds any longer; thousands of people each year utilize the park for its recreation purposes.
Something very unique to Saturday's Paddle Triathlon portion is that the kayakers and canoers traverse North on the Genesee River, something that doesn't typically happen. At the turnaround point on the river, paddlers will get a breathtaking view of our Great City of Rochester. The run is all within the park, so athletes can view all the beautiful imagery this park has to offer.