|By Aaron Schultz, Sports Editor
If you are looking for something fun and healthy to do, you might just want to check out the fourth annual Dassel-Cokato “Just for Fun” sprint triathlon Saturday, Aug. 11.
Triathlons are a great way to get into, or to stay in shape.
Unlike running a marathon, or just running in general, a triathlon is much more of a full body activity.
According to Marc Fahey, Director of Rehabilitation at Meeker Memorial Hospital, a triathlon is full of health benefits.
“What I like about a triathlon over a marathon is it’s not just one activity,” Fahey said. “It’s great for joint health, and your mental health.”
A triathlon has three parts, including a swimming portion, bike ridding, and running.
There are not set distances for triathlons, instead each one is a little unique.
For beginners, sprint triathlons are typically the shortest, and least demanding of the triathlons.
“Sprint triathlons are really good to start with,” Fahey said. “They are doable for pretty much anybody.”
The DC triathlon, which is a sprint triathlon, begins at the DC High School pool at 7:45 a.m. Aug. 11 with a pre-triathlon meeting.
The actual event kicks off at 8:05 a.m. with the swimming portion of the triathlon.
The swim will be 300 yards in the pool, with staggered starts.
This kind of triathlon is much different than some of the more difficult ones, as swimming in a pool is less grueling than in a lake or the ocean.
“With the swimming portion taking place in the pool, that takes away the fear for many first timers,” Fahey said.
Following the swimming portion, participants will than move on to the bike-riding portion of the event.
The loop they will be biking is a 6-mile stretch, and depending on an athletes experience level, they can go around the loop once or twice.
The bike portion wraps up back at the high school, where the final running portion starts.
The final leg of the triathlon is a four-mile walk/run.
For those who prefer to just run or walk the four-mile final leg of the triathlon, you may do that. The final leg is scheduled to begin at 9:15 a.m.
There are different options for an individual to compete in the DC sprint triathlon.
Obviously, you can do the event as a single competitor, but there is also the option of competing as a team.
With this option, you can choose to just do one or two of the events in the triathlon, and have one or two teammates do the other portions.
No mater which way you choose to compete in the triathlon, it is just good to take part.
“If this is going to be your first triathlon, you should go into it with an attitude to just finish,” Fahey said. “Just see how it goes, and if it is something you enjoy.”
Triathlons can be run by the young and old alike, with no age limit, as children as young as 10 years old have competed.
However, with any children wanting to compete, Fahey recommends close supervision of any child competing in a triathlon.
“You need to be cautious with young children to make sure they are not overtraining,” Fahey said. “Also, make sure they are doing it for the right reasons, especially with young females. It shouldn’t be done for weight management.”
Fahey also recommends that if you are training for your first triathlon, do it with a partner or a group, and set a goal.
It is also recommended if you have any type of health issue, such as diabetes, or heart disease, that you talk with your doctor before training and competing in a triathlon.
People with those conditions may still be able to compete in a triathlon, but it is always better to be safe than sorry, so check with your doctor first.
The DC Sprint Triathlon is a great way to get started in the sport.
You can register for the DC triathlon by going to www.dc.k12.mn.us/commed.