The Sunday of Railroad Days has a new celebration in the form of the First Annual Triathlon in St. James. The triathlon will take place June 23, with registration beginning at 6:30 a.m. and the race beginning at 8 a.m.
The reason behind creating a triathlon for St. James is simple, say organizers Dan Kern and Dayn Besel, there hasn't been a triathlon in St. James ever before.
Kern and Besel are putting together a course for the triathlon which will be good for beginners and challenging for seasoned veterans. The race will begin with a 150 to 200 yard swim in the St. James outdoor pool, followed by a 13 mile bike ride and finishing with a 5k run.
Participants are required to wear a helmet during the bike portion of the race, with headphones prohibited. It is recommended that swimmers use goggles, but not required.
Kern and Besel are hoping to get people involved with some physical activities. Being physical therapists, both believe health and fitness are very important. The triathlon is being put together to expand the sport of triathlon and is not something people need to be competitive about. It is a fun way to cross train and enjoy some outdoor time in St. James.
Triathlons are ideal for individuals looking to get into shape because they boast a very low injury rate. This is due in part to the cross training aspect of triathlons. Preparing for a triathlon involves running, swimming and biking to get into shape. People with cardiac issues should talk to a physician before beginning to train.
If you are having difficulty training, go online and find a training plan that is right for you. As one of the fastest growing sports in the United States, there are many resources for training schedules and techniques. One site that has been recommended is Minnesota Tri-News, which offers beginner schedules and triathlon dates throughout the state. Kern and Besel recommend starting slow and varying your routine for the best results.
Surrounding communities have gotten participants in the hundreds to the race, but Kern and Besel are hoping for about 75 people on Railroad Days Sunday.
Prizes will be given to top finishers along with door prizes to be drawn during the race. Registration is $40 until May 1, and $50 after. For a team of two or three people registration is $60 and increasing to $70 after May 1. Participants will receive a gift bag and t-shirt.
For an event like this there is a lot of cost. The race will be chip timed, with all results broken down to individual events. Any extra money received will go to the St. James Area Foundation for a donation to an area nonprofit.
A special thanks to the Mayo Health System in St. James, St. James Area Rehab, Scheels, the Eye Care Center of St. James, Steve Pitcher and the Sertoma and Rotary clubs for their assistance in organizing the event. Another special thanks to Margaret Maire, who has helped Kern and Besel in the planning stages of the triathlon.
Page 2 of 2 - As with any community event, volunteers are extremely helpful. Anyone interested in volunteering or donating can help by contacting Dayn Besel at 507-327-6719 or Dan Kern at 507-621-0324.
A meeting for volunteers will be held at Jake's Pizza April 24, at 7 p.m. Anyone who is interested in helping out with the triathlon is encouraged to join Dan and Dayn at the meeting. Volunteers are always appreciated.