The water was pleasant, not icy, and the weather itself started chilly before growing warmer as the fourth annual Blaine Triathlon came to a conclusion this past Saturday, Sept. 12, at Lakeside Commons Park.
According to Nate Monahan, the city of Blaine employee who headed the organization of this event, 210 people registered and 184 completed the course that included a 0.3-mile swim, 16.7-mile bike race and concludes with a 3.5-mile run.
While lower registration than previous years may have been due to people forgetting the event date change, Monahan said he got a lot of emails from people complementing him on how well organized the event was and asking that this annual tradition continue.
“For me, it’s a good friendly competition. We’re motivated by maintaining our health,” said 55-year-old Dave Lundquist, of Blaine, who has competed in 200-mile bike races but at the Blaine Triathlon only did the bike ride while leaving the swim to 25-year-old Eagan resident Paul Koob and the running to his Blaine neighbor Bob Ziebol, 52.
From now on, the Blaine Triathlon will be in September. The first three years between 2012 and 2014 it was held in May when the water temperature was barely above 50 degrees. This time around for the Sept. 12 competition, the water temp was 68 degrees, Monahan said.
People of varying ages and athletic abilities came together for this timed competition that was divided into different age groups and somewhat by talent level. The youngest competitor to finish was 15-year-old Peter Matern, of Blaine, while the oldest person to finish was 73-year-old Clark Worthington, of St. Louis Park.
Koob, Lundquist and Ziebol had the fastest time of any team at 1 hour, 17 minutes, 53 seconds.
The top 10 competitors who raced on their own all finished in under 1 hour, 21 minutes. The average age of the top 10 was 41.3 and included eight men and two women. The fastest woman and youngest competitor to finish in the top 10 was 29-year-old Christina Roberts, of St. Louis Park.
Tatton has competed in all four Blaine Triathlons and does six to seven triathlons a year, including the standard “Olympic distance” triathlons that consist of a 0.93-mile swim, 25-mile bike ride and 6.2-mile run. He has also competed in Ironman events that include a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run, which is the same running distance as a marathon.
“I’m competitive,” Tatton said when asked why he likes to do this.
Tatton, a 1995 Coon Rapids High School graduate, was only on the downhill ski team in high school and never on the cross country or track team. He does a lot of his training in Blaine, swimming at the Foss Swim School and working out at Fitness Pros.
Over the past 10 years, 65-year-old Lindsay Nauen, of St. Paul, said she lost half her weight by going on a strict diet and exercise regimen.
“It’s saved her life,” her husband of 40 years Richard Weil, 64, said.
Nauen competed in her first triathlon eight years ago and loves that she does not have to run every day, which saves her joints from the constant pounding that comes from long-distance running.
“The training is fun. I never get bogged down with triathlons. If I don’t feel like running, I can bike or swim,” she said.
Nauen said there’s usually two different types of competitors at these triathlons.
“There’s the elite group that is off in their own different world and then there’s us old farts. But everyone helps each other,” she said.
Blaine neighbors Crosby Warren, 37, and Matt Herrmann, 34, have both competed in six triathlons including the past two Blaine Triathlons.
Warren said “the adrenaline of race day” and personally challenging himself is why he races.
“We’re always nervous at this moment, but when you’re done it’s a sense of accomplishment physically and mentally,” he said. “And our reward is cracking open a beer at 10:30 a.m. to celebrate.”