BY: RACHEL WUMKES
There will be an official blog post at a later date to personally thank all those who helped with TRI Clear Lake last weekend – because there are SO many people – but I just had to get something out today while I’m still riding the high of the event.
In case you missed it, hundreds of athletes invaded Clear Lake for the 4th annual TRI Clear Lake event. While normally held in the spring, it was postponed until Labor Day weekend this year. Which for the first time since all this COVID business started, worked out in our favor.
Because the weather was beautiful. I mean, perfect conditions all around.
I arrived out at State Park at O-Dark-Thirty, ready to take temperatures of the athletes and ensure they wore the proper face coverings while inside the transition area. It wasn’t until later in the day that the full effect of the event really hit me. Once the sun began to peek over the horizon, shining an orange glow across the still water, the many jet skiers, kayakers, and people on paddle boards became visible. Coupled with the incredibly awesome Clear Lake fire boat, and a few other small boats to help, it was really a sight to see.
That’s when the tingle began.
Way down deep inside of me, I could feel it.
I took a moment to look around and really take it all in. Athletes were gearing up for the start of the swim. Volunteers were milling around, getting their location assignments and information. Race directors called out instructions to make sure everything ran smoothly.
Before I knew it, we were all holding our hands over our hearts listening to the National Anthem.
That tingle began to move throughout my body, swelling up from deep within and coming out as liquid pride, spilling from the corner of my eyes.
The athletes got into position and the swim was off. In no time, they began to trickle back into transition, changing out of their wet swim gear to prepare for the bike portion. The volunteer base clapped and cheered as they mounted and rode away, but it wasn’t long before the first athletes began to trickle back in.
The athletes racked their bikes, changed shoes and gear and off they went out the other end of transition for the run.
It was like a well-oiled machine and I was simply in awe. The organization of the entire production was magnificent… and I never even made it downtown to see the Finish Line activities. That was an ENTIRE other area full of logistics and volunteers and people making this day run smoothly.
The whole thing was just top notch and I’m so proud that it happened in Clear Lake.
As we guarded the bikes and gear at State Park, it was fun to greet the athletes as they returned from the finish line party. There were a lot of smiles, and we had SO many incredible compliments about the race, the town, and the friendly people.
Hats off to all the Clear Lakers who made them feel welcomed. And hats off to the Race Directors: Carrie Tysdahl, Jake Kopriva, and Trish Fundermann. Their committee, as well as Stacy and Libbey at the Chamber made this event one these athletes will not soon forget.
To check out photos from the event, be sure to visit the TRI Clear Lake Facebook Page.
Who knows… maybe next year you’ll be willing to give it a TRI.