Thursday, April 29, 2010


Via E-mail, MSU Intramural Triathlon's exuberant Director Jennifer Myers tells us about her 6-year old resurrected event. Sunday's race is full.

Dear MTN Readers,

Our triathlon is a great first timer triathlon! Every year I get a range of people; some bike at 25 miles per hour and some ride their brother’s old Huffy mountain bike with the tires only aired up halfway. I advertise this as a low key event because the race itself is low key as well. We use a stopwatch (no fancy chip timing here!), the finish line is marked off by a few cones, and the swag bags leave a bit to be desired. However, people love competing because of the challenge of the course – two big hills to tackle – the feeling of camaraderie with other first-timers and the great music at the finish (including the theme from St. Elmo’s Fire and Lady Gaga this year!).

We aren’t fancy. We give out the same shirt every year, just a different color. Our refreshments aren’t healthy… fruit snacks, Little Debbies and freezepops… but people come back because of the enthusiasm of the volunteers.

The men’s, women’s and team champions are crowned “MSU Intramural Champions”. There are no ribbons or medals, but we do have a raffle for some sweet prizes like a free VO2 max test, bike gear and old school triathlon shirts. When the weather is nice, finishers will lounge on the grass and cheer on the other competitors.Our race is limited to 60 people since we swim in the pool. The youngest competitor this year is 19 years old and the oldest is 53. We have dads and daughters competing. We have people from the swim team, the track team and our own MSU Triathlon Club competing. 75% of our participants are MSU students or staff, but we always welcome Mankato residents and people from all over Minnesota. We have a few competitors from Macalester College in St. Paul making their way down.

Thoughts have been tossed around about a potential end of the season triathlon on the same course – that way participants could compare their times in May (this might be the first of the season for lots of them) with their times in September. If that’s the case, watch our website.

Mankato offers lots of the recreation enthusiast. We have bicycle trails on all sides of town. The Red Jacket Trail trail takes you south of town to Rapidan and the Rapidan Dam, where you can enjoy a piece of pie at the Dam Store.
Of course you then have to bike back to your car after the pie!

Mankato features all the eateries that you see in larger cities. We have a Chipotle, Noodles and Cold Stone right next to the university and finish line. People looking for a greasy, yet delicious, breakfast after the race should head to the Wagon Wheel.

Need some caffeine for the drive home? Try the Coffee Hag.

Mankato also has parks along the river which are perfect for a picnic or a game of Frisbee golf. (Land of Memories or Sibley Park – Sibley has a small zoo!)

Jennifer Myers
Fitness & Wellness Coordinator
Campus Recreation Department

Editor: Best wishes for a great event, Jennifer! More races should offer Little Debbies!