The Legendary Trinona

It seems kind of early to be talking about summer races, but not if you have any dream at all of getting into Trinona. I just heard that the June triathlon is more than 60 percent sold out already, and it’s still five months away. That sounds pretty impressive for a race that’s only been held three times, but if you’ve been a part of it, you understand why.

Don’t get me wrong. I haven’t been a part of it, exactly, unless you count standing on the sideline taking photos as “taking part”. Every year I think I’m going to do it, and I start mentally working out, but I never seem to make it to the *actual* working out part. Then the race sells out, and then I’m off the hook. Yeah, I know, I should work out anyway, but it really seems to cut into my eating time, and it’s hard to run with a belly full of pizza. Don’t judge. Think of it like I’m leaving that one last spot for you.

But really, if I’m ever going to run a triathlon, it will absolutely be Trinona. After all, it was named 2011 Race of the Year in Minnesota, winning the nod over 60 other multi-sport events across the state, and drawing participants from 20 states and Canada. And it’s not even four years old. That, folks, gives this race a fair amount of swagger.

But here is why it has been catapulted to stardom as an event: As far as ways to test your body go, this race has it all. It’s in a beautiful place, it has big, fat prizes, and it has a course that will make even the most accomplished athletes a little weak in the knees (and it’s probably made more than a couple of them cry). Every international-length triathlon has their version of the 1.5K swim, 40K bike, and 10K run, but only Winona has a hill so wicked that 3-time Tour De France Champion Greg Lemond came here to improve his skills. Seriously, it has been dubbed one of the most challenging triathlons in the Midwest. Garvin Heights is a 1-mile uphill beast that will tear the heart out of the most stalwart competitor and leave it laying on the 6-inch-wide shoulder, and Gilmore Valley Road is a thrilling (read: terrifying) descent that will leave everyone on it praying to their maker that their brakes don’t fail. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

I’m kidding – it sounds horrible to me. But for tenderfoots and people who don’t feel like meeting their maker, there is a sprint version of Trinona that is still beautiful and challenging and has great prizes, but doesn’t leave competitors wondering if they might die.

And it has great swag bags – or so I hear. I guess you actually have to compete to get one.

Maybe this will be the year I finally pull the trigger and become a Trinonan. There is still time, but judging from registrations so far, not much. It’s not a question of whether this race will sell out or not, it’s a matter of how fast. If I do see you there, I’ll probably be the one laying on my back in the grass with a paramedic standing over me. Actually, I’ll probably be the one taking photos, but I’ll try to get a good shot of you 🙂

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