Up North: Record breaking turnout at 36th annual Fitger’s Brewhouse Triathlon

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A record breaking 400 athletes from the United States, Canada and in between took part in the 36th annual Fitger’s Brewhouse Triathlon located at the Minnesota Power Pavilion at Island Lake.

Competitors were able to pick from two different events, the short or the long course which began with a one-mile swim, 24 miles on the bike, then finished it off with a five-mile run.

“We’ve seen the equipment change over the years, but the human condition of doing something you think you’re incapable of doing, challenging yourself to a new idea, a new ideal that’s kind of been new. Folks are still out exercising and having a good time,” said Race Director Rod Raymond.

The winner of the women’s long course wasn’t unfamiliar with the track as Duluth native Elaine Nelson finished with a time of 2:12:17. “It’s really fun to come to this race every year. I really enjoy doing triathlons and I’ve been doing them for probably ten years or so and every year I love coming to Island Lake,” said Nelson.

On the men’s side of things 36-year-old Ontario native Brenton Button was the first to cross the finish line, breaking the plane with a time of 1:51:19.

“You get to train three different sports where my partner is doing a marathon. So, it is repetitive and she kind of gets a little bit sore. Where I swim today, I get to bike tomorrow, I get a run. So, you get to work on three different sports,” stated Button.

“The most important thing about this sport is participation. We really want to see the athletes come out and practice their swimming, practice the bike, practice the run and maybe even put together a team. Just finding a way to enjoy it and be a part of the community,” Raymond concluded.