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"Psst! It's a Lot More Than Fun"...

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9 Reasons to Join the Off-Road Adventure at Bertram Blast!

By Bettina Keppers

1. It's a thrill! It's chill! It's the best sort of fun. Simply put - Bertram Blast is an awesome combination of great humans seeking adventure in a beautiful place while still enjoying a fun and challenging race¦ and a beer at the finish line.
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2. Nervous about swimming in a big group of people - have no fear - Bertram does it right! The race goes off in waves of 10 people, so you'll only be in the water with 9 others, and even better, the waves are self-selected. Thus, if you're hoping to swim with others at a similar pace to yours, you've signed up for the right race! This wave start also helps keep the single-track flowing on the bike. It's genius.


3. Meet others who enjoy swimming, mountain biking, and trail running! Volunteer or participate in the event to meet others who are interested in enjoying the trails, too! You're very likely to meet someone from near your city/town and perhaps even leave the event with a new training partner.


4. Even the easiest of single-track trails can be challenging - choose your own speed! All speeds are welcome to join the adventure and there's some awesome cheering that you'll hear come from your fellow competitors along the way. One of my favorites last year was from a guy who passed me on the bike, “Don't worry, I'll see you again soon when you pass me on the run!” I yelled after him, “Doubt it, my run is terrible!” But, he was right. I passed him on the run and we had a good laugh about it when we met on the run course.


The Bertram Blast has only 276 feet of elevation gain and the track is smooth and flowy, it's as technical as you make it! Are you looking to do your first off-road triathlon and need a smooth and easy course - Bertram Blast has it! Are you looking for a challenge to see how fast you can weave back and forth through the terrain - Bertram Blast has that, too!

What I'm trying to say is, is that regardless of your skill level, a true off-road newbie or an experienced Xterra racer, you'll have fun and enjoy the challenge!

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5. Psst! It's just a lot more fun! Okay, perhaps it's just me, but I promise you won't be disappointed by the journey that leads to an off-road triathlon experience if you enjoy being on trails. For me, I'm not a fan of the pavement for biking or running because I get bored easily. However, on the trails, it's impossible to get bored thanks to the constant change in scenery and need to concentrate on the terrain.


6. Do you identify as a woman or a non-binary person? We need you out there! Off-road triathlon has a similar gender ratio breakdown as ironman-distance races - highly skewed to men. And like ironman-distance races, off-road triathlon can feel daunting to jump into, especially if you don't feel safe on the trails. Cue mountain biking and trail running groups! If you're unsure of going out into the woods alone, join a local group/club so you can go out with others. Running with other women on the trails is how I overcame my fear of going out on my own and I'm so grateful I took the leap to go out with others (introvert here!) as I simply wouldn't be doing the mountain biking and trail running I'm doing now.


If you're looking for a place to find biking and running groups, reach out to your local bike and run shops. Other great options to find others to join you on an adventure:
Kwepack - an indigenous women's running group
GirlTrek - a Black women's movement group focused on self-care, healing, and transformation
She Runs This Town/Moms Run This Town - Facebook running groups by city
If there are other groups in Minnesota please add them in the comments!


7. Xterra World Championships - are you interested in competing at the Xterra World Championships?! If so, yes, you guessed it, Bertram Blast is a perfect race to prepare you for Xterra DINO in South Bend, Indiana, a World Championship qualifying race in late July. Why is Bertram Blast the perfect way to prepare for Xterra DINO?


Terrain - the bike courses are eerily similar. Xterra DINO is all about speed on non-technical and flat terrain without berms, so like Bertram, the course is as fast as your technical ability and adrenaline make it.

Bertram Blast is just before Xterra DINO, so it serves as a perfect preparation event!


8. The venue - THE venue! This venue is perfect for the single traveler, those traveling with a buddy, and those bringing their whole family! Of course, there is the lake and trails to enjoy, but the venue also includes showers, a HUGE waterpark, cabins, great bathrooms, and a campground. People of all ages will have something they'll enjoy doing at this race!


9. The after-race party! There's beer at the finish line, a meal served up under the pavilion, and good company. The after-party serves up another great opportunity to talk about off-road adventures, learn tips and techniques from each other, and simply enjoy being in the great outdoors.


I hope to see you out of the trails and at Bertram Blast 2023!

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