Ravineman will take place this coming Saturday, July 29 at 7:30 am at Ravine Lake in Huron, South Dakota (register here). Unlike years past when the swim portion of the race looked a little sketchy, thanks to a couple of recent heavy rains, Ravine Lake is looking clear and ready for swimmers. Furthermore, the locals have done their best to ensure a great race overall.
Ravineman is known for its spectator friendly course, where the adoring fans of triathletes can hang out on a nice slope, watch their athletes swim a triangle course that avoids having athletes ever swimming directly into the sun, cheer for them as they tackle a fairly flat 12-mile bike route, and then watch them run around the lake. Spectators can see each athlete conquer the run from a cool, grassy knoll. The venue really is quite nice.
So, what’s different about this year’s race:
- The water: our reliable sources tell us the water is really clean this year (as evidenced by the picture taken this weekend).
- The bike course: the course is the same, but unlike past years when the highway department decided to chip seal the route the week of the race, the road is SMOOTH.
- The run: nothing has changed, which means this is one of those great, flat runs that a person can PR on.
- The distance: the En-Tri is no more, which means the race committee can put their full focus on putting on the best sprint tri they possibly can.
- No kids’ tri: again, the folks in Huron want to make the sprint the best event they can, so they’re focusing their efforts on that. However, there will be a FREE KIDS’ FUN RUN near the end of the race at 8:45 am, and each participant will receive a treat from Putter’s and Scoops. (Can you say ICE CREAM before 10 am?)
Those interested in Ravineman need to take note of the early start time. The folks in Huron understand that late July in South Dakota means the potential of some pretty intense heat and humidity, so their start time is 7:30am and not the typical 8am. So while the Ravineman triathletes are recovering with their favorite post-race beverage, the rest of the world will be figuring out what to do with their Saturday.
There will also be a team category for this year’s race again, including the corporate cup. The teams must have members of the given business or family members of the business participating to qualify, and the team that wins will receive the coveted traveling corporate cup.
One more note for those who love their race schwag: Ravineman is one of the few races in South Dakota that prints a full-color logo on their t-shirts. We anticipate this year’s shirts will look pretty amazing and be one of those that you won’t want to put on next year’s rummage sale. If you want one of these shirts, you need to register NOW because the t-shirt order goes in at noon on Monday. Sign up here.
At the time of this printing, registration was looking a little lean, especially in the men’s category. Medals will be awarded to the top three finishers in the Sprint race and age group (no double-dipping). Overall 1st, 2nd and 3rd place men’s and women’s Sprint winners will win cash prizes and all competitors will be entered into a drawing for door prizes. The prizes are ripe for the picking, folks, so evaluate your calendars for Saturday and then head up to Huron. You can even take a picture with the giant pheasant statue before you leave.