Race Coverage

"Looking Forward to Next Year"....


By Ashley Hall

GREAT UP NORTH TRIATHLON - Have you ever had the chance to hang a medal on a triathlete’s neck? It’s truly the best part of the event! I shed many happy tears, hugs and celebrations with the triathletes as they crossed the finish line. Every ounce of worry, doubt and stressful moments leading up to The Great Up North Triathlon was worth it the second the medals started being handed out. We had 49 individuals and 5 teams cross our finish line; each dripping not only with sweat but with feelings of pride and accomplishment. Some even had the chance celebrating with their loved ones at the finish line! 

We have experience in planning non-profit fundraising events, hosting athletic camps, running our own business and coaching, but nothing quite compares to organizing a triathlon. We had the opportunity to meet triathletes from all over the Midwest and Canada and competitors of all ages and levels; each with their own story and their own “why” of competing.

We had many first timers, some who already have aspirations of competing in more triathlons and some who just wanted to check it off their list. Our first place male for 19 and under was up from Florida for the summer and considers himself a competitive swimmer, but we think he may have a future in triathlons. Our youngest competitor was 13 and completed the race completely on her own as a last minute decision to give it a try...

(literally decided Saturday morning to do it with her Dad), and our oldest competitor was 78. I could go on and on about the amazing people who completed the triathlon this year-if you want to hear more of the stories be sure to check out our Facebook page for stories of our athletes throughout the off season.

Official Results Male Division:
19 & under Finn Youberg 16 1:25:35.5
30-39 Sam Cassibo 31 1:29:36.4
40-49 Ryan Kucera 42 1:16:16
50-59 Rod Raymond 54 1:08:39.2
60 & over Bob Shine 60 1:13:30.1

mom.jpgOverall Male Winners:
1. Rod Raymond
2. Bob Shine
3. Ryan Kucera

Official Results Female Division
19 & under Mia Engel 13 1:56:57.5
20-29 Carolann Stone 20 1:25:31.5
30-39 Nicole Friend 34 1:34:33.8
40-49 Yenta Macklem 42 1:36:36.2
50-59 Jane Hutzol 54 1:29:17.0
60 & over Nancy Witherspoon 61 1:34:01.2

Overall Female Winners:
1. Carolann Stone
2. Christine Gelo
3. Jane Hutzol

I am fairly confident that every race director has the same fear-the weather! It’s one of the things we have absolutely no control over and it can make or break your event. We couldn’t have been blessed with better weather (especially as first time race directors!) It was a beautifully calm day on Rainy Lake that gave way to an even more beautiful afternoon and evening. We hope everyone got to truly experience everything our area has to offer. And if you didn’t stay, we hope you will next year! From fishing to boating, or just relaxing at the cabin-Rainy Lake has it all!

We are so grateful to every athlete that took a chance on us our first year. You had no idea what we had in store for you, what the race would be like or even if it would be worth your while, and without every single person that signed up it wouldn’t have been possible for us to pull off the event. I’ll admit there were moments we weren’t sure we would have enough people signup, there were times when we doubted if we were the right people to host the event, or even if we truly knew what we had gotten ourselves into, but we are so glad we followed through with it and we are already planning and looking forward to next year!

Triathletes be ready for additions to the Great Up North Triathlon in a variety of aspects. Keep checking our WEBSITE for more info and be sure to mark your calendars for AUGUST 8, 2020! Signups will begin in the next few weeks!!!





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