Winnemucca’s First Annual Sprint Triathlon

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Winnemucca’s First Annual

Age- and Dementia-Friendly & Humboldt Volunteer Hospice

Sprint Triathlon

In an Age- and Dementia-Friendly meeting this spring the question arose, “What other health-wise event can we add to the Winnemucca repertoire?” We tossed multiple ideas around and then finally landed on a Sprint Triathlon. One had been held a few years back and while participation was small, enthusiasm was high. Since the initial group no longer wanted to organize this event, we grabbed it. When? Where to create the routes? Advertisement? Registration, shirts, goodie bags and prizes? All of these questions met answers as we prepared for our fun- and exercised-loaded dream.

With the morning of the 4th of July selected, we reserved the pool, mapped and remapped the biking and running routes, advertised on radio and in the newspaper, and hung posters around town. Patty Ellifritz designed our shirts and led the “water-on-route cart”, Athi Hustead, team photographer, created our posters and logo, Pam Coats rallied our local PD, and all of the team jumped in as volunteers, lap counters, street guards, and every other requirement for designing such an undertaking. It is truly amazing what a few dedicated individuals can create.

Early morning brought the set-up team to get our participants ready for the 1/3-mile swim. Athletes gathered around the pool entry and a motivating speech sent them in for their laps – 23 total. In a flash the first crew leaped out of the pool and raced to their bicycles or tagged their team member for the 12-mile ride as the next swimmers dove into the water. The pool was cool; the biking proved hot and strenuous as getting that many miles in on one corner of town included several steep slopes. But the best part of a rigorous ride up? The zoom down! Guards on many corners and main intersections kept riders safe and on target.

Zipping across the park grass, bikes tumbled as runners changed tempo and leg action for the final leg: the 3-mile run. As the sun grew hotter, we were so happy that we had started the competition early – 7:15am – so that everyone could complete the course by 10:30. While we had planned to be done prior to the start of the annual parade, it began an hour earlier than we had anticipated. Still anyone interested had time to head for Winnemucca Boulevard to catch a glimpse of the festivities.

Are you ready for a Sprint Triathlon? I promise you, it is super invigorating and sparks a sense of accomplishment, an “I can do anything” feeling. If you are a serious contender, train early, time each section of the event, practice a few times on the established routes, and work on transitions – wet swimsuit to bike and helmet to wobbly legged running. Our Sprint Tri can be your Tune Up for other events or Cool Down for the season. Nervous about taking part in all 3? Form a team. If your team seems less than dedicated? Just do your share. Our goal is pride, success, and zest. We are planning now for next year so mark your calendar: Saturday, September 19, 2020 – less heat, fewer jam-packed week-ends, terrific opportunity.  Contact me directly for additional information or check out our website:

Still hesitant? Take the words of this year’s competitors: “Fantastic!” “I am so excited!” “What a perfect day!” “Do you have a date ready for next year?” “Will you send me some posters and registration forms so I can motivate my friends?” Now I know you are ready for this incredible challenge.

Proceeds all stay local for respite care and for construction of our memory wall at the Whitworth Rec Complex.