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Ready, set, go: Triathlon time

With waters aplenty, an around-the-lake loop bikers adore and scenic running routes, Detroit Lakes might have been made with a triathlon track in mind.

On Saturday, August 21, the Pavilion will serve as the starting line for this year's Young Life Triathlon, open to everyone from annual participants pumping their way through the Tri Minnesota Series to novices challenging themselves to their first three-tiered event.

Event manager LuAnn Milner expects the triathlon to be bigger than in past years, bringing the opportunity to swim, cycle and scurry through town to more than ever before.

"We've grown every year since we began," Milner said, adding that she anticipates between 370 and 400 people to partake in this summer's triathlon.

Since it's meant to appeal to all ages and athletic abilities, there will again be two courses to choose from.

The Olympic-length Long Course consists of a 1½k swim in Detroit Lake and a 40k bike trek followed by a 10k run, which will take its followers to Dunton Locks and back. The Sprint Course, tailored to a less intense standard, instead includes a 500m swim, a 20k bike ride and a 5k run.

The triathlon can also be split into sections and run as a relay for those who aren't up to a full triad of events. This year, a relay division has been added to the Sprint Course, offering increased opportunity to get a group together.

"We added the Sprint Relay just because we had a lot of requests for it," Milner said, mentioning that it will operate like its longer counterpart, with teams of 2-3 people in male, female and mixed groups.

The cost of participation is $60 for an individual and $85 for a team, and can be paid online or by mail. There will be no day-of registration, so sign-up soon.

All proceeds go toward the local leg of Young Life, an organization that establishes supportive relationships between leaders and kids to introduce them to Jesus Christ and help them grow into happy, confident, responsible adults.

"This is a major fundraiser for the local Young Life," Milner said, adding that all the money will stay in the community's club.

Once registration is complete, race packets will be available for pickup from 4-8 p.m. on Friday, August 20 at the DL Community Center, or at 6:30 a.m. in the band shell on race day.

Check-in and body marking will also be in the band shell bright and early Saturday morning. A mandatory 7:40 meeting will preface the 8 o'clock starting gun.

For those who aren't competing, the triathlon offers a different sort of sport, aimed at watchers who don't want to get their feet wet.

"It's a great spectator event because there's lots of places along the lake to watch from," Milner said.

A terrific opportunity to spend the morning enjoying the final days of summer, the triathlon takes place in prime viewing locations, like around glistening Detroit Lake and over to Dunton Locks' woodsy wonderland.

Once the competitors have stroked, spun and sprinted to the finish line, there will be an 11:30 lunch free to all racers (and $7 for others) back at the beach, followed by an award ceremony at noon, which will bestow honors on the day's top racers.

Participants are encouraged to relax after their triathlon triumph with family, friends and fun on the beach and around town.

To end the summer on a healthy high note, sign up for the Young Life Triathlon and get in gear for heart-pumping exercise in the midst of DL's picturesque panorama. For course maps, event rules and registration information, visit