And it is a grueling race. It was named "one of the top unique triathlons in the country" by active.com.
"It's the only repeated one that I know of," Alexander said, adding that first-timers like to try it out to see how they like triathlons. Participants can do one loop and quit, take a rest, or keep going the entire three hours.
"Honestly, a handful of people over the years have done Ironman and XTERRA and they say this is no easier at all. It's still three hours of torture," Alexander said. "It's mentally challenging to keep going (after completing a loop). That's the thing I hear from top athletes."
The event started in 2008 with 38 participants and has grown each year, with athletes from as far as New York, Indiana and Louisiana. Alexander anticipates about 70 to 75 this year. Last year's champs are returning to try to reclaim their triangle-shaped trophies, which Alexander makes himself with walnut and cherry from his property.
Both Dynamic Wings and Papa John's Pizza, in Shamokin Dam, donate food. "They're very generous," Alexander said.
Several local businesses donate money, and 20 to 25 volunteers help with timing, snacks, registration and all the tasks needed to make a successful triathlon that raises between $1,000 and $2,000 for good causes and gives participants a unique, fun challenge.
"They get a T-shirt, and they're celebrating," Alexander said, "and they're triathletes."
For more information, visit blacktopisthedevil.com.
n Cindy O. Herman lives in Snyder County. Contact her at Cindyherman1@yahoo.com or on Twitter @CindyOHerman.