BY: RACHEL WUMKES
They’ve been planning this for weeks. Months even.
Training. Practicing. Pushing the limits of their bodies.
And now… the time has come.
They’ll begin to trickle into town late in the week. You may not notice it at first. A car here. A truck there. But then, like a swarm of locusts descending on a field of crops, they shall arrive in droves.
Do not fear, for they will not harm you. There is no need to cower inside your homes or retreat to the dark corners of your basements, as their only focus at the moment is to swim, bike, and run.
That’s right, my friends, it’s time to celebrate, because TRI Clear Lake is at the Lake this weekend!
While you may not be one of the hundreds of athletes participating in this year’s event, it is still an incredible occurrence to watch unfold. The sheer athleticism alone is worth coming out to see. The drive and determination of these athletes, who have been training for weeks and weeks, is commendable. I am in awe of them.
**Said as I stuff a sugary donut right into my mouth**
The event will commence with the swim portion beginning at 7AM. That means State Park is going to be a BUSY zone in the early morning hours on Saturday.
From there, athletes will hop on their bikes and head out on South Shore toward Balsam Ave where they will jaunt a bit to the South before turning around and making their way back. While these roads are not closed to traffic, please keep this in mind when planning your Saturday morning activities. While there will be flaggers at some of the intersections, helping to direct traffic to ensure the safety of our bikers, and police cars at a few intersections, we are relying on you to help us keep these athletes safe!
After the bike, they’ll be back to State Park to begin the final leg of the TRI, the run. Athletes will race along South Shore, past the Sea Wall and up toward the Surf Ballroom before looping back toward City Park to cross the finish line.
So, what does this all mean for you, the Clear Laker?
Well, first up, we could still use a few more volunteers. Mostly people to sit along the bike and run portions to help guide traffic. If you’re interested, you’ll need to sign up here by 5PM on Wednesday.
It will also mean residents may have to alter their Saturday morning plans. If you need to go somewhere via car or truck, prepare accordingly. From 7AM until Noon, you can plan on bikers and runners on the course, making it difficult for vehicles to navigate. If you can avoid driving on South Shore during that time – I highly recommend it!
And while many of the streets are still open throughout the event, there are a few that will be closed.
CLOSED SATURDAY until 2PM
NORTH SHORE DRIVE: From 7th Ave North to Buddy Holly Place. ALSO from 1st Ave North to 2nd Ave North
BUDDY HOLLY PLACE: From North Shore up to 6th Ave North
SOUTH SHORE DRIVE: From 1st Ave South to Main
1ST AVE NORTH: From Lakeview to N. 3rd
CLOSED at 3PM on Friday through 2PM on Saturday
MAIN AVENUE: From 3rd Street down to Lake View Drive
That being said – the boat ramp at Main Ave will be OPEN on FRIDAY but will be CLOSED on SATURDAY until 2PM. Please plan accordingly for your boating activities.
Thank you all for your patience and understanding. The committee and crew for TRI Clear Lake is extremely excited we are finally able to host this event. This year has really thrown a curve ball into every single one of our ideas. Thankfully, with a detailed mitigation plan, we will be able to hold TRI Clear Lake, and welcome these incredible athletes into our beautiful tourist town!
After the race, there will be a DJ spinning tunes in City Park. The perfect blend of fun and relaxation for everyone!
If any spectators would like to make their way downtown on Saturday morning to watch and cheer as people cross the finish line, you are more than welcome! As always, we ask that you practice safe social distancing guidelines, keeping yourselves within a reasonable space from others.
Here we go, folks. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for beautiful weather as these athletes swim, bike and run in Clear Lake!