Past. Present. Future. Participants of the MAC Triathlon saw all of the these perspectives Saturday morning when they dipped their toes into Lake Mitchell.
Past: Some of the most seasoned and celebrated triathletes took a chance to help grow the sport and race a brand-spanking new event at a great venue. We saw World Age-Group Champ Greg Taylor sprint his way through the course as well as a handful of other triathletes who’ve been tri-ing for years putting forth some serious effort. Also, while this was the first year for the official MAC triathlon, word of previous triathlons in Mitchell trickled through the crowd of more mature competitors, giving this race a taste of previous Mitchell tris.
Present: We saw current triathletes with an incredible amount of class. While race organizers did their best to prepare a quality course, unclear course markings led some athletes to struggle with navigating their way. Yet everyone who crossed the finish line did so with a sense of understanding not to mention accomplishment that sometimes sacrifices need to be made to help promote triathlon in a new area of the state.
Future: This race definitely has potential. MAC Tri organizers have a gem in the making with no other triathlons offered locally. They found an empty niche of time with no other triathlon occurring in the state, a cozy venue, and a town aching for triathlon to take place. Mitchell already has a runners’ club, a swim team, and a tight-knit bike group. This week’s race gave the community, specifically that around Lake Mitchell, the opportunity to see how athletes can put all three disciplines together. Furthermore, race directors put together the best race they could and welcomed feedback from participants, which can only serve to make this race a quality event.
SDTA President Marc Satter, who also participated in the race, states, “This race has a lot of potential. The venue is very unique, and I look forward to working with the MAC Tri staff on helping grow their race in future years.”
On top of a beautiful venue, the MAC tri also welcomed some gorgeous weather. After the potential of severe thunderstorms all week, Saturday dawned cool, cloudy, and yet storm free, making for perfect race environment overall.
By the end of the day, Teresa VanHyfte successfully navigated the course, and won the entire race. Ken Winter came in second overall and first for the men, and Brad Stearns came in third.
Kudos to the organizers of the MAC tri for a great first effort and to all of the good-natured athletes who weathered the hiccups that typically come with a first-time tri and who helped grow the sport.