The 33rd Annual Hy-vee Mini Triathlon at Lake Kampeska near Watertown (register here) will take place this coming Saturday. Those caught up in the hubbub of local Independence Day celebrations could easily overlook this gem in the South Dakota triathlon circuit. Don’t make that mistake.
The race at Kampeska has some unique features specific only to this particular event. In particular, the swim takes place along the shore of Lake Kampeska. Participants need only to swim parallel to the boardwalk and aim for the dock a quarter mile or so away. Those feeling a little skittish about their swimming skills may swim in water where they can stand to take a break if they need to.
The 14-mile bike course takes participants on some gentle rollers around the lake where the scenery consists of summer cattails and beautiful lake homes. Some residents even park their most comfy lawn chair outside their homes to cheer on the sweaty riders.
The 5-K run takes participants into a pancake flat and uber safe route in the industrial part of Watertown. If runners look hard enough, they can still see glimpses of the lake past the concrete, and they can run down the middle of the road if they really want to (we’ve seen this happen).
This race also has a great post-race spread thanks to the generosity of the title sponsor, Hyvee. Sandwiches, chips, and watermelon usually grace the plates of hungry athletes and their adoring fans after the last finishers have crossed the line and before the race directors hand out the prizes for the top dogs.
So as you toss back your favorite cold beverage, down a hotdog, and crunch on some chips while you wait for the fireworks this week, don’t forget, there’s a race to be had. Head up to Watertown on Saturday morning. You won’t regret it.