Time to Get Serious...


When it comes to racing, Minnesota triathletes are notoriously reluctant.  If, for instance, an event experiences yucky weather in, say, 2017, you can be sure that enrollment at the 2018 race will suffer somewhat. Or we will be hesitant about registering for events that undergo changes, like a new date or venue....

And with COVID we are especially spooked. Registrations for 2021 races are understandably slow right now. But we need to realize that if we all "wait-and-see" we can lose a race, sometimes temporarily, sometimes forever. We need to recognize our roles in preserving, and hopefully advancing, Minnesota's multsport community and calendar.

In part, because we are reluctant to register at times, or that we assume that others will keep our systems afloat, Minnesota's calendar is now half as large as it was before 2015. And though the 2021 schedule is truly happening, we hope as early as May, there are several events that have decided to cancel, at least for this year. As things stand today, 40 adult multis are slated for 2021, down from 83 during our state's peak.

Let's look at the situation.

TRINONA - This iconic event enjoyed 11 great seasons and featured our state's most challenging Olympic course and most breathtaking scenery. It is going to take 2021 off. IT PLANS TO RETURN, so PLEASE  don't be reluctant to sign up in 2022. Trinona would have shared it's weekend with the NEW BRI TRI, so give New Bri a try if you haven't already.

MINNEAPOLIS TRIATHLON - Our state's grandest race is not happening this year, and may never return, though it's history suggests that it will be back in some form in the future. Just look at the race's history. It's predecessor event--the Aquatennial Triathlon--launched in 1986 and set the production and performance standards in our state until 1995. Then it stopped, not because it wasn't viable. We don't know the reason for that, nor do we know why LTF is pulling the plug this time around. But the old race was resurrected in 2002 and had endured until 2019. So, if the pattern holds, we could see a similarly ambitious event at the same outstanding venue in the mid-2020s. We sure hope that's the case.

What should you do on Minneapolis Tri weekend (July 10-11)?  DO TIMBERMAN! If you've done it, you know that it is a special event in a special place, arguably the most bucolic and picturesque venue on the Minnesota calendar. Everything about Timberman is terrific.

CHASE THE POLICE / WALKER TRIATHLON - This diamond in the rough event plans to return in 2022. It possesses a special small-town charm and is especially welcoming to beginners and receational athletes. It is a "Destination Triathlon" that deserves a robust turnout, so let's make that happen in 2022.

So, those who had planned to do Walker Tri have two great options on that late July weekend: CHISAGO HALF and SPRINT and TURTLEMAN. Make sure you enroll in one, or both, of thos races.


MOOSE LAKE TRIATHLON - This cool event will not happen unless it is rescued by local volunteers or an out-of-town director. JASON GOEPFERT wrote a great MLT race report a few years back, and we would like to suggest that Jason, a truly cool guy and awesome race director, consider resuscitating this triathlon. (We understand if he can't. No pressure.)

UPDATE! - We just received an email from the new director of the Moose Lake Triathlon. The event is happening! The date is August 7.

The point of this post is to encourage people to eschew their reluctance and sign-up for races ASAP. And yes, please check into each event's refund/entrance fee transfer policies before you register. Don't lose sight of your responsibility to be part of the solution by making sure you support as many Minnesota races as you can, and encouraging others to do so the same.

Let's remember that the few races that happened last summer--Graniteman Big Lake and Clearwater, Green Lake, Young Life, the Square Lake races and Fall Classic Duathlon--were all awesome. Our state's race directors are dedictated to giving you a safe and memorable social and athletic experience, so let's take advantage of that.