South Dakota’s only half iron distance triathlon will take place this coming Saturday, September 9th at Stockade Lake, 3 miles east of Custer. With the biggest payout in South Dakota (total of $3,000 split among the top three men and top three women), there’s no wonder this race brings some of the most talented triathletes from the bordering states. Word on the street has it that Colorado, Nebraska, and Minnesota will be represented along with the locals that tackle the course regularly.
This year’s event has a new feature: a shorter course. Considering this is the toughest course in the state, with significant elevation gains throughout the bike and run along with a typically chilly swim, the shorter course is a great option for athletes who aren’t quite ready to call it a year but don’t want to deal with that longer bike and 13.1 mile run. The short course consists of half of the half course. This means instead of a two-loop swim, participants will swim one loop. On the bike course participants get to come back to transition while the 70.3 cyclists keep going, and the run will consist of one lap versus two.
Each year that we cover this race, we hear the same thing from participants: this is a beautiful course. The view is the same this year along with the t-shirts and finisher medals for all participants. So, those who need one more round of a punishing workout with a beautiful view, head west. Custer is where it’s at this weekend.