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Team NordicSkiRacers Conquer Triathlon

Mon, Aug  20, 2007 - By Mike Muha

After a scant three weeks of training, some of us swimming for the first time in years, Team NordicSkiRacer members Ryan Robinson, Yvon Dufour, Greg Worrel and Mike Muha tested themselves against 350 triathletes at the Island Lake of Novi Sprint Triathlon yesterday morning. The results were stellar:

  • Ryan Robinson: Overall Masters Winner (1:06:44)
  • Yvon Dufour: 2nd in Age Class (1:09:45)
  • Mike Muha: Age Class Winner (1:14:53)
  • Greg Worrel: 6th in Age Class (1:23:59)

The proof that cross country skiers are incredibly fit athletes!

Conditions were miserable: 55 degrees F, a steady rain, light wind, lake mist, puddles across the road.

The swim event started in waves based on age and gender. The 74 degree F water was so much warmer than the air that fog rose from the lake obliterating visibility to the buoys marking the triangular half-mile course. The many safety kayaks could be heard yelling, "Go left!" throughout the swim as athletes zigged and zagged more or less in the direction they were supposed to travel.

From the swim, triathletes ran a hundred-yards or so on a sidewalk and across a parking lot to the transition zone for the bike leg. I made the mistake of not swimming with my tri-singlet and instead tryed to put it on over my wet skin during the transition. It took two attempts and about 1 minute of transition time simply to get the top on.

The 12-mile bike course was two loops around the roads in the Island Lake of Novi subdivision. The roads had great pavement, except for one bump in a corner. The course was partly one-way and partly two-way, mostly flat with one gentle quarter-mile uphill/downhill near the halfway/finish point. There was quite a bit of congestion through one intersection, where multiple lanes were marked out to guide bikers coming in and out of the transition area, around the corner up the hill, around the corner down the hill for the start of the second lap, and runners leaving and entering the transition area.

The 3-mile run started on paved roads in the subdivisions, through a puddles that spanned the road, and eventually entered a soggy wood-chipped trail about a mile and a quarter into the run. After a couple wooden bridges, the run entered a dirt trail in the woods for about 100 yards before turning around and retracing the route back to the start.

The race was very well organized, with sponsorship for HammerNutrition.

Unfortunately, there are no pictures: family members were much too intelligent to be standing around on a cold, rainy day.

We do this all over again - hopefully with better weather conditions - at the Island Lake Sprint Triathlon next Sunday at Island Lake State Rec Area near Brighton.