The Wolves Tri, the second in the SDTA series, will take place at noon on Sunday. And it’s not too late to register. In fact, most people register the day of the race. Participants just need to show up at the Barnett Center on the Northern State University campus and fill out their registration forms. No computers or smart phones needed.
This particular tri typically has about 50 registrants. However, with temperatures predicted in the 70s and a start time of noon, we expect to see record numbers. The tri begins in the indoor pool at the Barnett Center with a 400-meter swim. Each lane will have a counter, with the fastest swimmers starting first. Participants then transition to an out-and-back 12-mile bike route which takes them on fairly flat paved county roads. The run, equally flat, will follow bike trails and residential streets.
The event began several years ago when a couple of NSU coaches including race director Kevin Bjerke wanted to put together a fun fundraiser. A triathlon made some sense. And while the event hasn’t necessary raised a ton of money, it has raised awareness of the sport in the area and continue to build the sport up north.
This particular triathlon caters specifically to newbies for two reasons. First, it offers the relative safety of a pool swim. And second, it’s so early in the season, if a newbie finds himself hooked, he has several more opportunities in the coming months to hone his skills.
But not just rookies toe the line here. Veteran and champion triathletes have been known to get their feet wet as well. Winners receive free entry into next year’s event as well as a trophy. Age-group winners receive smaller trophies.
Additionally, the Wolves Tri aims to make the atmosphere a family event with their short “Wolves Pup” tri that takes place immediately after the adult tri. This particular event gives kids the chance to swim a length in the pool, bike two laps around the parking lot, and run 100 meters. What triathlete doesn’t want to take home a tired kid?
In addition to a quality event, the Wolves Tri offers those who like to run the circuit of triathlons a chance to meet some of the northern athletes. According to Bjerke, “Since we have such a good community of triathletes, we have so many welcoming athletes that make people visiting feel pretty good. The people that do it around here are so friendly and welcoming.”
Sounds like the kind of triathletes a person would like to compete next to.
If you’re not busy this weekend, consider the Wolves Tri. You do not have to leave the house at 5:30 to get there on time, and you may just find yourself enjoying one of the best little tris the state has to offer and meeting some quality athletes in the process.