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Looking ahead - Three Rivers Triathlon

Posted by Doug on 7/1/2013 to Events
The 2013 triathlon season is in full swing, and there are only 6 weeks or so until our all-time favorite: the Three Rivers Triathlon/Duathlon.

One of the best tri's in Michigan, registration is limited to 200 for the Olympic distance races, and 150 people for the sprint. Register at

Why do we love this race so much?

Many reasons, but first, is the great job done by the race director Emmanuel Millet. Emmanuel, who has done many Ironmans (including Kona), knows what makes a great race as opposed to a mediocre race. He has directed this race for over 20 years with the help of his family. Lois and the two boys have been essential in keeping the race running smooth. Now, Lois and Emmanuel's grandkids will be helping out. If a baby with a French accent tells you to go left at an intersection, that's one of the grandkids. Go left.

Next, the Three Rivers race has the best volunteers of any tri we have attended. It seems like the entire Three Rivers community comes out on race day to work (for free) at the race. They have done their jobs for years, they know their stuff, and they cheer you on. Nothing better than having enthusiastic volunteers at an intersection in the middle of nowhere, pointing the correct direction to turn, while urging you on. Compare that with a race we did recently where the intersection volunteers were disenchanted teens, wondering why they were outdoors, furiously texting their friends, oblivious to the bikers whipping through their intersection, asking them which way to turn.

Next, we love the race course. The swim in Corey Lake - for one morning only you get to use a private piece of lakefront property that is simply beautiful. Then hop on your bike, and get ready for hills that give this race the most challenging bike split in the state. And as you put on your running shoes, prepare for a few more hills. Don't worry - everyone else is biking and running the same hills. It's not just you. After you finish, you will find the best food of any tri around. Remember, Emmanuel is also a famous French chef. Even though he is not manning the stoves, he would never approve of post-race food that is second rate. It is actually worth doing this race just to eat their food after you finish.

For non-swimmers, there is a grueling duathlon, where you run a 5K instead of swimming, then join in with the Olympic distance triathletes for the bike split and the final 10K run. Try to remember, when the starting gun goes off, that you have 3 legs to finish. It seems like every year, the duathlon pack takes off like it is just a 5K. Pace yourself! There is also a great team event. If you are not willing or able to do a tri, put a team together and do the Olympic distance as a team.

Finally, what makes this such a nice event is that it's held in a small Michigan town in late summer, it's a locally produced event: celebrating fitness, good health, and just having fun . In an era of huge, corporate triathlons, this race is a little gem. Don't miss it. Please be polite to me as you pass me on those big uphills.

Three Rivers Triathlon/Duathlon Saturday August 17, 2013 8 am EST

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