The folks in Eureka, South Dakota burst with pride for their community. And who wouldn’t. The little town on the prairie has a beautiful lake in the heart of the community, a kuchen factory, and one of our favorite triathlons in the state.
The 2017 Eureka Lions Triathlon will take place on Saturday, June 24 at 8:30 am at the Lake Eureka Beach area. We visited this race last year to see what the hubbub was all about up north, and we received some of the best hospitality that northern South Dakota has to offer. Here’s what we discovered:
- Two distances: The race has a sprint distance of 1/4 mile swim, 12-mile bike, and 3-mile run; and a long distance of 1/2 mile swim, 24-mile bike, and 6-mile run. The bike course takes participants out and back on a recently refinished black top surface that was as smooth as glass last year. The run gives participants a nice tour of the area around the lake as they complete a perfect rectangle back to the start. The swim is in Lake Eureka, one of the cleanest lakes we’ve visited in our state.
- Small-town charm: from the shotgun start to the guy with the stopwatch taking times, this race has some great small-town charm that takes older participants back to the days of yore when triathlon was pure friendly competition and less schwag.
- Schwag: despite the quaint feel, the race offers participants a unique t-shirt sporting the triathlon logo of the year, and the overall male and female winners of each distance receive some hefty hardware with the biggest trophy we’ve seen for triathlon in the state.
- New competition: with the far north location, this race draws in some pretty speedy triathletes from the Bismarck area. As a result, those who race against the same spandex-clad competitors each race may find this event worth their time to travel up north just to test their mettle against the friendly nemeses from the north.
- The price: because Eureka likes to keep things low key, they have kept a steady, low price. Pre-registration is $25, and race-day registration is $30. No race in the state boasts of a lower fee than this one.
Eureka’s triathlon is one of the oldest in the state, and the folks up there know how to run an event. They have custom bike racks that hold steady even with gale-force winds (which we’re confident will stay at bay this year). Additionally, because of its far north location, temps typically stay low for this race. If you’re free this weekend, check out this race. You’ll get to see parts of the state that few see, with rolling prairie, and you too can check out what Eureka is all about.