Despite one of its smaller fields racing their event, the Ravineman committee put on a race that showcased the best that the east side of Huron has. This year’s race resulted in a showcase of veterans, with 32-year veteran of the sport Ken Winter taking home the overall winner title, and the comeback queen of the summer Kathy Grady debuting her multisport skills after a nasty bike crash in Madison on June 3.
While Grady took home the overall prize, she wasn’t the first one out of the water. Second place winner Teresa Van Hyfte, another veteran, emerged from the drink with Grady breathing down her neck. Van Hyfte managed to put about ten more seconds between herself and Grady by kicking it in during her first transition, but Grady passed her on the bike and then put enough distance between the two to hold off VanHyfte and on the run and win the overall women’s prize. West river sensation Jonette Murphy brought in a solid third place finish.
One of the more seasoned veterans of triathlon in South Dakota, Ken Winter held a commanding lead over the men’s field from beginning to end. Winter came out of the water just two seconds behind Grady, but he put his experienced biking muscles to work once he headed out on highway 14 with his Felt, and he came in off the bike first, alone, and as always, smiling. Winter went on to post a solid run and maintain his lead over local hometown studs Jory Wipf (who ran the fastest 5K of the field) and Johnny Richman (who can lead a kids’ fun run like it’s nobody’s business as demonstrated after the race).
The thick humidity that so often plagues eastern South Dakota in late July stayed subdued for this event, providing participants with just enough heat to make them sweat but not enough to cause any danger. As promised by race organizers, the triangle swim in the calm waters of Ravine Lake had participants sighting in all directions but directly toward the sun. The bike rout provided a fairly flat and well maintained surface with a couple of rollers for interest, and the flat, safe run route kept participants on a bike path and side walk that roamed through Memorial Park, by a handful of campers, and then around the lake. That last mile around the lake is a bugger, quite frankly. because every spectator with even one good eye can see the runners, and no one wants to be caught walking.
All in all, the Ravineman triathlon proved to be everything it promises to be: fast and fun. Great work to all who took on the challenge. Next up in the South Dakota circuit is Riverman, the famed low-key triathlon at Farm Island just east of Pierre. We’ll let you know more about that early next week.