Race Coverage

Old Bogie's Bar & Bikes Leaning Against Trees....



By Jason Larson

Triple R Triathlon Race Report - Flaters resort in Holcombe, WI put on their 33rd annual Triple-R triathlon on Saturday, May 14, 2022. Due to being an early season event, the Flaters triathlon is formatted as a run-bike-paddle race, with racers starting off right at noon. The course is one large loop with a start/finish, separate T1, and still another T2.

The race starts at Flater's Resort in Holcomb, WI. The weather can be variable and this year it was 74 and sunny at the start. A little warmer than most would like but still manageable. The run is approximately 2.5 miles through both pavement and offroad trail through the woods. It ends at Old Bogie's Bar, where the bikes are mounted. This is a fairly small event, so no racks or transition zones here - bikes are all staged leaning against trees, fence posts, or just right on the ground. There aren't even any timing mats at the transitions, just one timing mat at the start/finish. This year's run took place after a couple of recent rains, so racers were navigating muddy ATV tracks on the way to their bikes.  About 100 racers total set off from the start, but that doesn't include the relay racers who were already staged at T1 and T2. 

The bike course follows sawdust road for about 11 miles (shortened this year) until racers reach River's Edge Park where the canoes or kayaks are staged. Again, this isn't a large scale event so boats are staged right on the river's edge and bikes are usually left in the grass along the riverbank or along more...

fence posts and trees. There were a few bumps in the road here and there, but overall it's a meandering road through trees and farmland with very little to any traffic. There's a volunteer or two at every corner directing you to where to go so there's never much question what the route is. The sun was still high in the sky this year, but clouds were slowly starting to roll in. The bike ended up being partially with the wind which helped push all us racers along.jasonandgirl.jpg

The paddle portion is 6.1 miles all down the Flambeau river and by 1:00pm it was pretty warm out this year. Had clouds not rolled in over the sun, racers would have been heating up real quickly on the open water. Depending on the conditions and currents, it can be variable how quickly you can get the paddle done. Kayaks or canoes are allowed and there was a mix of both at this year's event. For relay teams or tandem teams, you can also have a dual kayak or dual canoe. Thus many groups were getting in the water with two people in their boats. There were a wide variety of kayaks and canoes at the race, most of them very recreational/casual. The water was flowing at a moderate pace downriver this year, however racers were also paddling directly into a headwind which made things tougher. The total time spent paddling was more than the run and bike times combined for many racers this year. The paddle itself is very scenic though, with trees and some lodges along the river. There are also a few islands along the way. You may even spot a bald eagle or two. The river is wide as well - at least 100 ft or more - so there is plenty of room to take in the scenery and pass if you need. It finishes back at Flater's resort with a hard 180° turn and a very short 50 foot paddle up river. The finish line is then right on shore at the resort.

The event is small and has a very local feel, but it was fun and the locals really seemed to like it. After the race, all the racers got a free lunch and three free drink tickets. When in Wisconsin after all.....

ED. Jason won the race!