Fort Peck has vast land and water. It holds fishing tournaments, foot races, bike races and a sailboat regatta. What else is missing from Fort Peck? Triathlon.
The idea of starting a triathlon first came to Carin Barnett, a resident of Fort Peck, when she thought about attending a couple of out-of-town events. Friends encourage her to practice on her own right here at home. The idea grew more exciting as she realized that this could be a fun community event with more friends getting involved. She named it Under The Dam Triathlon. It's slated for Sunday, Sept. 7, at 8 a.m. at the first dredge cut.
While most people are used to seeing Barnett with a camera and a hockey stick, her family is also actively involved with the Glasgow swim team. Barnett competed in the 12-mile cycling race at the Big Sky Games this summer and won her age group. Her 10-year-old son, Colter, won the overall youth triathlon. She won't be without family support in her first local “tri”.
Under The Dam will be a sprint triathlon. Adult participants will start at the first dredge cut and swim a quarter mile (400 meters, scaled down from the typical half mile in case of cool water temperature). Then they will hop on their bikes and pedal to Nashua and back, 12 miles. With remaining energy, they will run towards the Kiwanis Park and turn around just past Winter Harbor. That's 3 miles.
For youth participants between the ages of 7 and 12, the distance is trimmed so that each child should be able to complete the course on his/her own: Swim 150 meters, bike 2 miles, run 800 meters.
Barnett understands that most folks might get cold feet. She welcomes friends to form a team and each person can take up one leg of the challenge. She stresses that this is meant to be a fun time, not an ironman. For people who are active, there is still time to train for this unique experience.
Kayaks will patrol the water as rest stops and support vehicles. Local Boy Scouts will also be at hand to help with the course. Barnett says that she is not sure if five or 50 people will turn out, but she is already planning for this to be an annual event, maybe in August.
Registration is due by Aug. 18 to guarantee a T-shirt and finisher's medal. For more information and motivation, contact Barnett at 526-3242.