The sixth annual Blaine Triathlon is next Saturday, Sept. 9.
Lakeside Commons Park, 3020 Lakes Parkway, will draw athletes to compete against one another in this timed event that includes a 0.3-mile swim, 16.7-mile bike ride and a 3.5-mile run.
Participants are welcome to come as early as 6 a.m. to warm up and pick up their packets. The Vendor Village comprised of event sponsors and local businesses opens at 7 a.m. Everyone must be present by 7:30 a.m. to listen to a pre-race briefing.
The race begins at 8 a.m. on the beach. About 30 participants will start every three minutes. Pickle Events will be timing the race.
There is limited parking for athletes at Lakeside Commons Park. Once the lot is full, athletes will be directed to Jim Peterson Athletic Complex.
Registrations are still being accepted at www.blainetriathlon.com. The fee is $100 for individuals or $125 for relay teams of two or three people.
Last week, Nate Monahan said about 175 have signed up. Participation is capped at 250 people. He said it’s typical to get a lot of last-minute registries. Monahan is a recreation manager for the city of Blaine and leads organization of the Blaine Triathlon.
“A lot wait and see what the weather will be and see what their health is,” he said. “We’re hoping to get another 50 people to sign up.”
Monahan said when the Blaine Triathlon was in May, it was the beginning of the racing season. The event was moved to September in 2015 so the water would be warmer after a full summer, but Monahan said the trade-off was that those who had a long racing season may choose to stay at home.
Blaine resident Chris Tatton, 40, has participated in all Blaine Triathlons. He has finished as the top male runner and broken the course record in the last two years. Last year, he completed the race with a time of 1 hour, 9 minutes, 10 seconds.
Tatton has done triathlons of various distances from the shorter sprint races to the Ironmans. The Ironman competitions consist of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and wraps up with a 26.2-mile run. The run itself is the same distance as a marathon race.
The Blaine Triathlon is timed but is not an officially sanctioned race. It is closer to a sprint triathlon, but the Blaine Triathlon has a shorter swim, a longer bike ride and a longer run than these sanctioned sprint triathlon events.
The cold water in May didn’t bother him too much but he thinks it was a good long-term decision to have the event in September when the lake has a few extra months to warm up.
For Tatton, the short drive from his home to Lakeside Commons Park and the chance to have a fun competition with so many local racers is what draws him back every year.
“I get to see a lot of people from the area,” he said.