Blaine Park Board gets 2012 triathlon planning update

by Tim Hennagir
Life Editor

Residents living along the bike and runs routes of Blaine’s first triathlon have been asked not to park vehicles on roads or sidewalks during the May event.

This map shows all three 2012 Blaine triathlon courses.

The Blaine Park Board Jan. 24 meeting featured a staff update about the three-segment morning race that’s scheduled at Lakeside Commons Park.

Jim Kappelhoff, park and recreation director, and Nate Monahan, program supervisor, addressed the board before the meeting was opened for public comment.

Letters were mailed to residents in the bike and run leg areas, inviting them to attend last month’s park board meeting.

The May 19 race will last from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

“We can take on 250 athletes,” Kappelhoff said. “This is a huge event and we will need a large number of volunteers to run it.”

The swim leg of the race is .3 miles, the bike leg 16.7 miles and the run leg 3.5 miles, Kappelhoff said.

All participants are scheduled to assemble at Lakeside Commons Park due to equipment used for the triathlon, he said.

Spectators will park at Blaine City Hall and be shuttled by bus to the park.

The actual race would end around 10:30 a.m., Kappelhoff said.

For the swim leg, there will be four lifeguards on duty; two in the water with watercraft and two on the shoreline, he said.

The 3.5 mile run leg of the triathlon will utilize streets, trails and sidewalks throughout The Lakes.

“All in all, this event will consist about of five hours on Saturday morning,” Kappelhoff said.

Monahan said the event is getting local resident support. For example, some Lakes residents who are registered nurses have volunteered as medical staff.

The Spring Lake Park-Blaine-Mounds View Fire Corps, the Blaine Police Explorers and 16 department officers will be stationed on the bike leg route, he said.

“All four traffic lights affected by the bike leg will be flashing red during the event,” Monahan said. “You won’t be able to move until directed so by police.”

Monahan said race participants will be released from the starting line in Lakeside Commons Park in 13 waves of 20 people if all 250 athlete slots are filled.

“Every three minutes, we will let the next group go,” he said. “By 8:45 a.m. all of them should be out and on the course.” Volunteers will oversee the race route.

Two residents addressed park board commissioners during public comment.

Dottie McKinley, 3900 125th Ave. N.E., said she was excited about the triathlon and had participation questions about the event.

“This is a great thing that you are doing, it’s going to come right by my driveway and I intend to have balloons, flags and everything out there,” McKinley said.

Monahan briefly explained the race relay rules. For example, teams of three will be allowed; each person on a team can complete a swim, run or bike leg.

Brenda Johnson, 3394 119th Ave. N.E., said she was also considering race participation. She asked Monahan about water temperatures and wet suit use.

“Most triathlon participants wear them,” Monahan said. “We will provide five different options for renting them on our website, since they are not very cheap.”

Tim Hennagir is at [email protected]