A Round of Applause for An Undertaking of Epic Proportions
BY: RACHEL WUMKES
Clear Lake was flooded with athletes Memorial Day weekend. They came from 16 different states, with the average racer traveling approximately 90 miles to participate. With their 5-gallon buckets filled with supplies for the day, they made their way toward City Beach in the wee hours on Saturday morning.
There, the volunteers jumped in, getting their registration materials handed out, marking their bodies, helping them find their place inside transition. If you’ve never seen TRI Clear Lake in full swing, you might not know the extensive amount of manpower it takes to pull off such a magnificent event.
And that’s before the race even starts!
First off, the volunteers who step up and help are phenomenal. I’m talking top-notch, A+, quality folks! They willingly give their time and energy to ensure the racers are safe throughout the course. Without enough volunteers, it simply would not be possible to pull off an event of this magnitude in Clear Lake.
In fact, here’s a review from athlete Sandra Mathews-Benham.
“Seriously…it was an AMAZING race. The hills weren’t devastatingly awful, the run is delightful, the finish amazing, the fans and VOLUNTEERS WERE AFREAKINGMAZING – seriously (ask them, they’ll all tell you I thanked them all, there were SO MANY everywhere!)”
A special thanks to the many State Troopers and the Cerro Gordo County Sherriff’s Department for their assistance with traffic and road closures along the bike course. Some of these athletes are moving along at an incredible pace on their bike, and knowing these officers are handling traffic and keeping everyone safe is instrumental for the triathlon.
Of course, we need to give a HUGE shout-out to the “hometown crew” as well. The Clear Lake Police Department, Fire Department, and EMT, as well as the Ventura Fire Department all play key roles in the safety of all the athletes throughout the entire race. We might be cheering for all the athletes that day, but I feel a “Great job! Keep up the good work! You got this!” is deserved for this crew right now!
Great job! Keep up the good work! You got this!
Better late than never, right?
We also need to offer a heartfelt THANKS to the City of Clear Lake, the Parks & Recreation Department, and Public Works. We know it’s a big undertaking to get streets closed and all the other requests that are thrown your way leading up to the race. Thank you for your patience and understanding, and for being willing to roll with the punches and get the job done!
United Beverage is everyone’s favorite at the end of the race. Grabbing an ice-cold beer before enjoying the after party in City Park is the icing on the cake for these athletes! Of course, Wayne’s Ski & Cycle is a huge asset to have on hand as many athletes need a quick bike adjustment before the race. They have provided bike support since the TRI began and we are grateful for their assistance and dedication all these years!
And, of course, to Fareway. Because after you put your body through all that swimming, biking and running – you need to refuel! They provide the finish line snacks and even pack a little cooler of food for each of the athletes.
The TRI Clear Lake Committee spent an incredible amount of time in planning meetings. With Race Directors Carrie Tysdahl, Trish Fundermann and Jake Kopriva at the helm, leading the way, they pulled off an amazing event.
For the 6th time in a row, actually!
For each of the sponsors – there aren’t really words for you. THANK YOU doesn’t seem like enough to really describe what it means to have your support. For this event, and all the others, it just wouldn’t be possible to do any of this without each and every one of you!
PRESENTING SPONSOR: Athletico – they had a parking lot grill out as athletes picked up their race packets on Friday night and provided massages for the athletes after the race. Talk about going above and beyond!
TITLE SPONSORS: Curries Assa-Abloy who has been a fantastic supporter of the Chamber and all our events for years. They are the epitome of commitment to building community. And Skip’s Kicks, who not only celebrated their first year anniversary on race day, but were instrumental in getting racers hooked up with all the best shoe gear!
TRI Clear Lake continues to grow, yet each year brings a slew of newbies to our quaint little tourist town. Athletes from as close as Austin or Rochester stopped by to tell us how much they enjoyed Clear Lake. They couldn’t believe such an awesome community was basically right next door.
Which brings me to the unique quality of this event. While the economic boost to the area was nearly a quarter of a million dollars over Memorial Day Weekend, it was just the drop into the water. And what happens when you drop one small droplet into a larger body of water?
It creates a ripple effect.
These athletes come for the race. However, they can’t help but fall in love with the most adorable little community in the Midwest. And so, they make plans to come back and visit. They’ll bring their families and enjoy everything a lake vacation entails… camping, eating out, shopping – all the things!
So, you see? The impact of this event goes FAR beyond Memorial Day weekend.
We cannot thank the Clear Lake Community enough for the unwavering support as we host this event. It’s understandable that the road closures can sometimes be an inconvenience. Thankfully, it’s only for a very brief period. The assurance that none of these racers is injured (or worse) on the course is worth it. Still – it needs to be said so all the residents know that we appreciate your flexibility and understanding!
And to the racers, well, thanks for being amazing!
You guys sign up and put in the work to get the job done. Thanks for choosing TRI Clear Lake and we hope you come again next year. Oh, and bring your friends!
Race photos are available to view and download. As always, there are some amazing shots capturing the athleticism of these athletes, the love of the fans cheering them on, and the connection of a community coming together to welcome them all.
You can view them here à https://www.flashframe.io/search/2054/
I guess we can officially say it’s summer in Clear Lake. The sun is shining, and the events are officially off and running.
Have a great season, friends!