The Bowman Lions held their third annual Mini Tri-athalon “Splash and Dash” event on Saturday August 5. Under partly cloudy skies, it began with a 5Km run on the Bowman Sweetwater Golf Course, continuing with a 3.8 mile bike ride to the finish at the Bowman Rouzie Rec Center Pool where contestants swam 250 meters.
By CHUCK WHITNEY
For the Pioneer
To many of us, these are just numbers, but when you consider that MOST athletes do only ONE of these in a competitive fashion on any given day, the significance of their effort becomes clearer! Our champions this year included Jonathan Burkhalter of Reva, SD who lead everyone in, followed by Danielle Hiatt of Bowman and Washington who lead the women in and finished second overall with Dan Peterson finishing a close third and handily beating the football kids he challenged. As in past years, we also made this available for those who wanted to compete as a team with each leg being completed by a team member. Our first place team was Alex Bartholomay, Blaine Jeffers, and Tanner Fischer, followed by Tristan Peterson and Andrew Miller in second with the team of Heather, Naressa and Ray Ann Hiatt finishing third.
This event is somewhat of a hybrid, as the famed Ironman events in Olympic Competition consist of an open water swim of 24 miles, a Marathon of 26.2 miles, and a final bike race of 112 miles. Given the constraints of a municipal pool and the need to get running early if we wanted to use the golf course, we began with a run, then a bike to the Rec Center and finished with a swim. For those who are not strong swimmers, this event becomes a real challenge, but we are also gifted with life guards from the Rec as well as plenty of Lion help to make the final pool swim both practical and relatively safe. We ARE looking at beginning next year’s event in heats for the individual competitors to more closely mirror the Olympic events, but will most likely then have to abandon the run on the golf course due to a later running of that leg of the event. Obviously some compromise will be necessary, as the run then will most likely be done at least partially on hard surface. THIS year we timed our individual competitors through the end of the bike leg, and then added the swim leg which was done separately, time wise. This was not a perfect world solution, but did allow all contestants to take a dip in the pool prior to their swim, with the idea of minimizing the “shock” to their bodies!
The Mini Tri-athalon is an outgrowth of a Lions International program to raise awareness of Diabetes, which is the leading cause of blindness in the Western Hemisphere. It began as a 5 Km walk which we quickly expanded into a “fun run” in addition to a walk. In 2015 we further expanded it to add the other two events. In the early years of the program, we also had the Bowman County Health Nurses out at the Golf Course to monitor the blood sugar of the participants before and after. Most participants were intrigued to find that their blood sugar levels dropped after the event. Given the time constraints as well as the finale being in a separate location, this has not been attempted for the past three years; however, we are certainly open to attempt it again should we change the format of the event.
A great big Lion Thank you needs to be extended to the Dakota Community Bank, Dakota West Credit Union, Dakota Western Bank, Southwest Healtcare, and Wells Fargo Bank, whose donations greatly helped offset the expenses of this event. We certainly could not have done without the help of Josh and Melissa Lindstrom who made the Sweetwater Golf Course available to us for our run and Chanelle Walby who helped us with the Rouzie Rec pool and her life guard staff. Bronson’s Market Place supplied a good portion of our after event light breakfast, and finally, a big Thanks to the Bowman Sheriff’s and Police Department who facilitated our use of the public way for our bike leg. A good time was had by all, and we look forward to seeing you next year!