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Swim, bike, run

The Young Life Triathlon, scheduled for Aug. 15, continues to grow each year and features two courses, depending on how far you want to compete.

Maybe you've spent your summer lazing around and need a kick to energize you into action. Perhaps you've been training for years and need a venue to put your athleticism to the test. Either way, Young Life's Triathlon is coming up this month, and it's the perfect way to get the adrenaline pumping, whatever your motivation may be.

On Saturday, Aug. 15, the local branch of Young Life will host its sixth summer triathlon. Begun by one of the group's leaders, who had been involved with triathlons in the past and knew what one could bring to Detroit Lakes, the race moved from Castaway into town two years ago.

"We were nervous about moving it, but it's grown every single year," event manager LuAnn Milner said. "The city has been very receptive and very helpful. Over 300 people signed up last year -- we hope to hit the 350 mark this year."

The race will again begin and end on the beach by the Pavilion. Once the triathlon is complete, participants are invited to stay for more fun to follow at the lake.

The Young Life Triathlon features two courses to cater to the variety of people who take part in the race. For those wishing to take a more introductory venture into the sport, the Sprint Course is comprised of a 1/3-mile swim, a 10-mile bike ride and a 3-mile run. If you're a more experienced triathlete, the Long Course, which spans the full Olympic length, is maybe more suitable a 1½-kilometer swim, a 40k bike ride and a 10k run along the Pelican River trail.

Registration information, rules, and course maps can be found online at www.pickleevents.com/events/younglifetri. There will be no day-of-race registration, so it's best to take care of the paperwork soon. Cost for participation is $60 for an individual and $75 for a relay team.

"All proceeds benefit Young Life, which is non-profit and local," Milner said. Young Life is a program whose intent is to introduce teenagers to Jesus Christ and help them grow in their faith through building supportive relationships.

Informational packets for registrants will be available for pickup at the Community Center from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, August 14, as well as in the Band Shell during check-in and body marking at 6:30 a.m. on the day of the race.

A pre-race meeting will take place at 7:40 on the morning of the 15th, and racers will take off from the beach at 8 a.m. It will end around 11:30; there will be a free lunch for all the competitors (the cost is $7 for all others) afterwards, and an awards ceremony at noon.

Awards for individuals will be given to the top three men and women in each age category, of which there are six, as well as to the overall male and female winners. In relay, the top team in the Male, Female, and Mixed divisions will receive awards.

The triathlon's broad appeal has been emphasized in years past through the diversity of its participants. With ages ranging from high school and college to the over 60 crowd, and with "professionals" coming to complete this leg of the Tri Minnesota Series, which the Olympic Course is registered in, the triathlon is open to everyone willing to pour out a little sweat in exchange for some great exercise and a triad of fun.

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