TRI-THE-LAKE: Heber Springs, AR

All Sports Productions - Legend Highlands

The Tri-The-Lake Sprint Triathlon was a couple of weeks ago on 14th October, 2012. Setting up in darkness was a factor that I have not experienced in this, my first season of sprint-triathlons. A storm in the middle of night caused buoys on the lake to be reset, which delayed start time by 15 minutes. From a summer of racing before the heat of the day and hoping for cooler temperatures, this morning I was hoping for warmer.

Competitors rack their bikes before the sun rises.
Competitors rack their bikes before the sun rises.

I expected the 500 yard swim on Greer’s Ferry Lake was going to be chilly. In fact, the temperature of the water was 69 Fahrenheit (20.5 for my metrically-minded friends).  If the water temperature is 78 F or below, the rule is that wetsuits are allowed. So now I had to make a strategic decision: Wear a wetsuit or don’t wear a wetsuit. I was observing my competitors and there was a pretty even spread between those that were prepared for the cooler water and those that were just going to grin and bear it. My wetsuit; only used once, was in my bag and very tempting. However, I felt that wrestling it off my person would exponentially increase my time in transition from swim to bike.

Inside the transition area with bikes hooked onto racks.
Inside the transition area with bikes hooked onto racks.

The bike course was 13 miles of rolling terrain that followed the neighborhood out to country roads. Then on to quite a significant climb. The hill forced some competitors to dismount and walk. Eventually their will and determination prevailed over the hill.

After a speedy transition of racking bike, unfastening helmet and changing from cycling shoes to running shoes; the five Kilometer run route ran mainly through the surrounding neighborhood. The temperature by this time was in the high 60’s F, and no rain nor wind; so perfect conditions for people to perform at their best. The run course had an aid station with very helpful volunteers that lined up to hand out water and electrolyte drinks. Their energy and enthusiasm spurred everybody on to the finish.

Happy finishers of Tri-the-Lake.
Happy finishers of Tri-the-Lake.
An excited final two participants cross the finish line.
An excited final two participants cross the finish line.
Athlete Mike Wagner: Completed the 13 mile bike course on a hand-bike.
Athlete Mike Wagner: Completed the 13 mile bike course on a hand-bike.

The only team in the Teams Division was comprised of a cycling father with swimming daughter and running son. The family theme continued in this event: There was a father and son, 11 who entered the race in their respective age-groups. They racked their bikes together and so shared the same spot in the transition area. 

It is a wonderful thing that these events can bring people and families together in a positive way. They get the opportunity to bond in a shared experience that promotes health and well-being. Not only do they get to share the experience of the event, but they also get to train together in build-up to the event which is a far better dynamic than sitting on the couch.

Syllamo Events Calendar

As you can see, everybody is doing it, why aren’t you? I recommend that everyone ‘tri’ a tri!

Winner of 30-34 age group – Me! With RJ and Scott P of All In Multisport
Winner of 30-34 age group – Me! With RJ and Scott P of All In Multisport

Big thanks to Fred and Rose Phillps of DLT Events who organized this race. Recognition also goes to Barrett Moon for being responsible for some super-signage. Click here for results

The Community Bicyclist

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