Race Coverage

Friendships New & Renewed....


By Steve Gunther

2020 Camp Gunther National Championships - It was a dark, stormy morning and the wind was howling as the race directors, Helen and Steve Gunther, placed the turn signs on the bike and run courses. It was the day of the 2020 Camp Gunther Sprint Triathlon World Championships and canceling the race was in the back of their minds. They knew how disappointed the athletes would be and prayed to the weather gods for relief.

And by 7:30, the clouds lifted at Camp Gunther and the sun broke out in a warming dance across the water. The buoys were placed and the volunteer kayakers were in place. The triathletes toed the line for the social distanced start under the bright red TYR arch. Laughing and eager for the competition, the athletes were off, gliding around the diamond shaped course, some choosing one lap, some choosing two. T1 was a casual affair, some eating gels and bars and others eating chips while they waited for the last swimmer to arrive. This was no ordinary competition, more of a coopetition!...


Ofredinflate.jpgf on the bike the gang stormed. Around the challenging 15 mile course they screamed, exploring the hills of Carver County. T2 was like T1, with plenty of rest followed by a group start. As the sun got higher in the sky, the thermometer swelled and the temperature rose. The run was truly a “heated” affair as the athletes jockeyed for position until the final downhill overlooking Lake Minnewashta and the flat sprint to the finish line flag back at Camp Gunther.

Of course prizes were awarded to the Fastest Finishers (the Swenson kids, Kristina and Kyle) the Newbie (Doug Lodermeier – welcome!) and the Sweetest Kit/Bike/Flat Tire Change (Craig Schroeder). Special thanks to Doobie Kurus for sharing prizes from the Hopkins Royal Tri which was sadly canceled this year. Best were all of the new friendships made and old friendships renewed.

This is the new reality for triathlon in the coronavirus world of 2020. Athletes, impatient to gather in a small group of their peeps, are putting on their own events and just plain having fun. Kind of like triathlon used to be. No bib numbers, no medals, no shirts and no costs. Watch for other events near you or put one on yourself! Just don’t forget to practice social distancing/wear a mask!

Race smart, my friends, but race and be the best you can be! You’ll enjoy it.