This weekend was a big one, and an awesome one – a piece of that was my ability to participate in the 30th Anniversary of the Timberman Triathlon here in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.
There’s two options for this race, a short course and a long course, and since it was my first tri, I opted for the short aka, the ‘sprint’ course. This included a 1/3 mile swim, 12 mile bike, and 3 mile run. I finished in 1:23:08, and according to my parents, that’s a pretty good time. I know that I felt good during the race, and that’s all that really matters, anyway.
But there’s something special about this race, something that makes me so proud that my parents are the race directors, and they work so hard all year to put this thing on. Everyone is so supportive of each other, the whole way through. I’d pass people on the bike and they’d yell “Good job!” or “Way to go!”, and that’s certainly something that has never happened in either of the half marathons I’ve ran.
Not only on the bike, but right before my age group took off for the swim, we were all sitting in the water and chatting about how excited we were for it to start, and cheering each other on to finish. Same thing with the run. It was an out-and-back, so you’d pass by both people that were on their way back as you were on your way out, and people who were heading out as you were going back. I’d pass by people I know and they’d yell to me as I was yelling to them – something that’s never happened in any out-and-back 5k I’ve ever participated in.
It’s easy to see why the Timberman is such a popular race and why it’s been going strong for 30 years – it’s special. Everyone is there to have fun and celebrate their hard work and being fit together. It’s located on a beautiful resort in Northern Minnesota, and it’s got an atmosphere that leaves the triathlete craving for its return for days after the event.