Here's a writeup on the first running of the DL3 Invitational Triathlon, held at Devil's Lake State Park.
The event was a swim/climb/run triathlon. Race started at around 12:30 on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012. There were four participants:
Paul Jones - 42
Swim support was provided by two groups, Don and Joy Hynek in their sea kayaks, and Mickey Landmann and his two children, Malachi and Jadin, in a canoe.
Start/finish point was the maple tree at the NW corner of the South Shore parking lot, near the start of the Balanced Rock Trail.
We ran down the railroad tracks from the start to a location referred to as the Swimming Rocks. Hikers on the tracks said "are you training for the Ironman?"
The swim support crew was waiting for us at the swimming rocks. We variously jumped in and swam across the lake directly toward Turk's Head Ridge. Lake was fairly cool (I am thinking upper '60s/low '70s). Paul and I had on wetsuits, Jon and Burt did not. Paul took off ahead of me like a spaniel in water, but as we know spaniels don't swim that fast! My chance to make up some time.
The swim leg went well, the lake was very calm with a few kayakers here and there. The swim support crew followed along with the swimmers. I was about 5 minutes out front, then Paul, Jon and Burt. Don and Joy did a great job of hanging with the swimmers for a measure of safety.
At the end of the swim, Mickey and kids were there for the gear drop of climbing gear. On the boulders at the shore, I stripped off the wetsuit, dried down and switched to rock shoes and chalk bag and got to the ridge first, but waited in several spots to make sure everything was working with the race. Paul caught up and passed, then Jon met me on the ridge.
This being a beautiful day at the Lake there were plenty of topropers on the West Buttress routes giving us puzzled looks as to what was going on as we scrambled past them.
Jon and I met at the only tricky part of the route, an exposed 5.5 move where you wouldn't want to slip. He blew right through it, gaining himself at least 10 hardcore points because he did it in his trail shoes.
I got to the top of the ridge and switched out of rock shoes (damn laces!) and into running shoes that was stashed earlier in the day. Crammed shoes and chalk bag in a fanny pack and hit the trail.
Temps were wonderful, probably low '70s.
Apparently there was a Boy Scout jamboree going that day. There were around 1,000 Scouts in the park, and I think we passed nearly all of them. The trails were clotted with groups of hikers and Scouts paying varying degrees of attention to where they were going. Lots of shouts of "coming through!". Burt said he accidentally took out a few of them.
The run went down the treacherous staircase of dust-covered, glassy quartzite boulders that make up the trail to the North Shore. Many times had to stop running to wait for traffic, sometimes passing through the trees.
Then to the North Shore, dodging cars getting permits and more hikers.
On to the East Woods trail, the 10-foot-wide passageway paved with crushed purple quartize that is a cross-country ski trail in winter. It is amazing to me that no matter how wide the trail is, the hikers seem to take up the entire width. Rangers call these "social trails" for a reason.
Up the long, drawn-out, tiresome incline to the "ski hill". Passed Boy Scout Checkpoint 4. On and a long, slow grind uphill, finally cresting to the top. Traffic was much lighter on this side of the lake. Running through the trees with their fresh muted fall colors, passing by the trails as they go: Hawk's Nest, Moldy Buttress, the finally D'Arcy's Buttress. Head right down the short, narrow trail, then among the crowds of hikers and newbie topropers, down the CCC trail. More dusty, super-slippery boulders. Again clotted with way too many hikers.
Finally hit the trail at the bottom and went as fast as possible to catch up. Turning the final corner, across the tracks, then back toward the maple tree, I see Paul and Jon looking pretty casual, like they have been standing there for a half-hour. Actualy not, only 4 and 2 minutes, respectively. Laurie and Chacho were there too.
My time was pretty good, definitely would have placed second had I not waited around (two mintues race director credit, anyone?).
Burt came trotting in from the road side, everbody was finished and no injuries.
Paul - 1:41
Run to Swim - .5 miles
Thanks to Paul for conceiving the idea, and thanks also to the swim safety crew of Don and Joy Hynek, Mickey Landmann and sons Jadin and Malachi. One screwup was to not arrange a photographer, so we have only a few photos. Already talking about a winter event... Drytooling and snowshoes anybody?