South Dakota’s outdoor triathlon season kicks off with a university pool tour, beginning Saturday, April 29 with the SDSU I’m Ready for Summer Tri in Brookings at the SDSU Wellness Center and then continues with the Wolves Tri in Aberdeen at the Barnett Center on the Northern State University campus on Sunday, April 30. Ambitious triathletes looking for a great weekend workout can find just what they need along with healthy competition at these two races. More is better, right?
The 17th annual sprint tri in Brookings (register here) will begin at 8am with the Kids Tri beginning the event and the Individual and Team Tri diving in at 9am. Transition will be open from 6:30-8:30am for those early birds who like to find their favorite spot on the bike rack, and the awards ceremony will take place at 11am.
This event features some of the best that Brookings has to offer with a 500-yard swim in the SDSU collegiate pool, a 12.4 (or 20K) bike ride that ultimately goes all four directions on rolling, countryside hills, and then a 3.1 mile (or 5K) run that takes competitors through the SDSU campus and has them finishing in the endzone of the new football stadium. Packet pickup for this race will take place at the SDSU Wellness Conference Center from 4-6pm Friday, April 28.
The I’m Ready for Summer Kids Tri has three divisions: ages 5-8, 9-11, and 12-14 with the following distances:
- 5-8 Year Olds: Swim 50 Yards, Bike .5 Mile, and Run .25 Mile
- 9-11 Year Olds: Swim 100 Yards, Bike 1 Mile, and Run .5 Mile
- 12-14 Year Olds: Swim 200 Yards, Bike 3.1 Miles, and Run 1 Mile
The Wolves Tri (register here) will take place at the Barnett Center with the first swimmers dipping their toes in the drink at noon. That’s right: once you’ve pushed yourself in Brookings on Saturday, you can sleep in a little before heading up to Aberdeen on Sunday. This race has a 400-meter pool swim, 12-mile bike, and 3-mile run. The folks up in Aberdeen run an old-school event with mail-in registration, so if it peaks your interest (and it should), download the form and send it in ASAP. Fickle participants may register on race day as well. This race has some of the best hardware that we’ve seen in South Dakota. The top three of each age group typically comes home with either a schwanky medal or trophy.
The Kids Tri, affectionately called the Wolf Pup Kiddy Tri, will take place around 3pm after the adults have finished their competitive fun and consists of a 25-meter swim, two loops around the parking lot on bikes (around 600 meters) and then a 100-meter sprint to the finish. Kids ages 12-under are welcome to participate in this free event.
While the weather isn’t looking like the most conducive for a first-weekend of triathlon, we know South Dakotans find ways to have fun regardless of what Mother Nature may bring. And after all, it is April. Anything can happen, and we all know forecasts change on a dime in the Great Faces State. Furthermore, preliminary looks at the participants in this years’ first events lead us to believe that the environment is ripe for new talent to sweep in and show the veterans how to tri.
So break out your warm gear, limber up those tight muscles, and prepare yourself for a great start to the 2017 season. We’ll be there with our favorite bearded photographer to capture it all: the good, the not-so-good, the smiles, and the grimaces. We look forward to seeing you there.