Athletes gear up for annual Sprint Triathlon

The annual sprint triathlon hosted by the Office of Campus Recreation will be held on Sunday, April 30, starting at 9 a.m. The swimming will take place in the Highland Center pool, where the swimmers will swim enough to equal 300 yards. Then, the participants will bike back and forth to equal 14 miles on a paved county road south of town. Lastly, they will do a 5K run on the same road.

Carly Hopper, the program coordinator for fitness, wellness, and special programs, explains what exactly the participants will do during the event: “We have a six lane pool, so they do six laps. From there, they exit out of the pool and run across the street over to the parking lot that’s right by the football field.

“From there, the bike ride will take them behind the football stadium through all of the purple and the free lots, all the way over towards Kwik Trip, then they turn right on Monks. It’s seven miles all the way out, and they ride their bike all the way back. Then they end up at the parking lot where they started. They leave their bikes, they run out a mile and a half in kind of the same direction, then they run a mile and a half back.”

This triathlon has been taking place on the Minnesota State University, Minnesota campus for more than 30 years. The event is open to students as well as people in the Mankato community.

Hopper explains why the event is called a “sprint” triathlon: “It’s not a full triathlon, related to the distances of the events. The sprint triathlon is different than the ironman triathlon – there’s different event lengths. The run is only a 5K compared to some events that have a full marathon, and 112 bike miles.”

The cost to register for the event is $25 per individual and $60 for a team of 2-3 participants. Online registration closes at midnight on Thursday, April 27. Registrations are still accepted in person at the Office of Campus Recreation after that time.

Hopper says that this event is not a fundraiser, since the cost to put on this event nearly equals out the money gained from registration fees. The money put into this event is used to purchase T-shirts, medals, healthy snacks, as well as paying for an EMT, a lifeguard, and other staff.

Forty people have registered for the event so far. Hopper says that the largest turnout since 2012 has been 64 people.

Hopper says, “There are a variety of people who participate in this event. We have a triathlon club on campus and people who use this as a training piece. You have athletes and people who really enjoy doing these sorts of events. Then you have people that this is their first triathlon, and it’s an opportunity for them to try it, to see if they can do it.” Different people finish the event at their own pace; some people want to finish as fast as they can, while others just want to say that they’ve done it.    

To register online, see route details, or find more information on this event, go to

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