The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By George Kulczyk
The Courier 

Fort Peck Triathlon Makes a Splash

 

August 22, 2018

Georgie Kulczyk / The Courier

A group of eager triathletes enter the water with a splash during the youth division of the Fort Peck Triathlon held Aug. 18. Left to right: Holt Huntsman, Abigail Kulczyk, Avery Wolfe, Kimber Dulaney, Bode Barnett and Nick Vojacek.

Anyone that has been paying attention to the weather in Northeast Montana recently understands how extreme it can become. With recent highs upwards of 110 degrees, contestants that entered the 2018 Fort Peck Triathlon had legitimate reason to be wary about potential weather conditions on the day of the event. Thankfully, the only impediment in regards to weather or conditions was the smoke drifting in from wildfires.

The race was held Aug. 18, with the hub of activity stationed at the first dredge in Fort Peck.

Smoke was heavy in the air, blocking out the sunlight and creating an eerie overcast. It affected participants differently, however, as some could be heard commenting that they barely noticed the smoke while others were complaining of their throats burning.

This was the fifth year for the triathlon, which consisted of a sprint triathlon, a youth triathlon and a duathlon. The sprint triathlon can be completed by teams or individuals and included an 800-meter open-water swim, a 10-mile bike ride across Fort Peck Dam, and a 3.1-mile run.

The youth triathlon included a 100-meter open-water swim, a two-mile bike course and an 800-meter run.

The duathlon featured a 10-mile bike course preceded by a one-mile run followed by a 3.1-mile run.

Although participation was down a bit, there were several competitors in each event. Event organizer Carin Barnett attributes a few things to the lower numbers this year, including schedule conflicts and maybe a lack of advertising outside of Valley County. Mostly, though, Barnett thinks potential competitors may be intimidated by some of the elements of the event. "I think many people are fearful of the swim," she explained. "I would encourage them to give it a try. We have great water support from multiple kayaks as well as Valley County Search and Rescue out there to ensure safety. We also allow Safer Swimmers (a personal buoy)."

"I added the Duathlon last year for non-swimmers and those that would prefer that option," she added. "I am also considering adding a paddle option next year."

"I wonder if people might be afraid thinking it's like an Ironman," Barnett speculated. "But, the Sprint distance is very accomplishable and they can expect a fun, first-timer friendly triathlon. I do hope we can get participation numbers higher so I can keep the event continuing each year."

While each person or team's capabilities were undoubtedly different, there also seemed to be a common ground among all the athletes and supporters: the atmosphere was never short on fun and encouragement.

It was apparent that the day meant different things to each participant. Some met their obstacles head-on, displaying nothing but grit and determination.

Some were obviously set on achieving personal goals, fighting nerves and conquering unspoken fears, a bucket list of sorts.

Others made it through each event with relaxed smiles and sometimes a shrug of the shoulders.

At the end of it all, every competitor crossed the finish line with their own degree of triumph.

RESULTS

Male:

Colter Barnett 1:10:48

Jason Wolfe 1:18:47

Lane Thompson 1:39:26

Ryan Vojacek 1:45:36

Jay Taylor 1:46:58

Female:

Michelle Huntsman 1:28:47

Amy Vojacek 1:31:02

Ellen Walstad 1:37:01

Carin Barnett 1:47:02

Melani Vandall 1:53:49

Jill Thompson 1:54:04

Sherri Turner 2:03:31

Teams:

Organized Chaos 1:18:02

(Ava Reyes, Aidan Redstone, Dameon Erb)

The Harvest Crew 1:21:54

(Jacob Stokke, Margareta Walstad, Darrell Walstad)

Severe Clear 1:32:01

(Gwendolyne Honrud, Mike Fransen, Stacey Fast)

Duathlon Female:

Stacey Boonstra 1:33:46

Duathlon Male:

Kelley Folts 1:34:01

Youth Male:

Georgie Kulczyk / The Courier

Sherri Turner nears the end of the cycling leg of the Fort Peck Triathlon held Aug. 18. Participants in the race completed a 10-mile bike ride across Fort Peck Dam.

Bode Barnett 13:13

Nick Vojacek 14:40

Holt Huntsman 16:59

Nikolas Kulczyk - Bike and run 19:50

Dustin - Bike only - no time

Youth Female:

Abigail Kulczyk 15:08

Avery Wolfe 15:20

Haleigh Huntsman 15:43

Kimber Dulaney 16:25

 

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