CLEAR LAKE, Iowa - Stretch your legs and get limber!
After being pushed back to September last year due to the pandemic, the TRI Clear Lake triathlon returns this Saturday morning. The event kicks off at 7:30 with the Olympic race, followed by the Sprint race. Athletes start with a swim from Clear Lake city beach, followed by a 1 or 2 loop bike course along South Shore Drive, and a 3 or 6 mile run along North Shore Drive.
Since the start of the TRI in 2017, the event has been growing in participants; this year's registration was capped at 550 people in order to grow the race naturally, with a possibility to expand the registration to more participants next year. Because of this growth, Clear Lake Chamber President and CEO Stacy Doughan, who is participating in this year's event, has seen the TRI become one of the premier events of its kind in the Midwest.
"Over 65% of our athletes travel over 90 miles to come and race this race. They're coming from Kansas City, Omaha, Chicago, Minneapolis and Des Moines, and exploring all what Clear Lake has to offer when maybe they would've otherwise never have come here."
In addition, the triathlon has pumped some extra money into the local economy.
"Every triathlete, on average, brings two spectators with them. They stay at our hotels, they eat at our restaurants, they shop our stores. It's a great tourist and economic impact, beyond just being a really fun activity to watch."
As part of the bike portion of the triathlon, South Shore Drive from Main Avenue to 27th Avenue South will be closed from 7:30-10:30 a.m. on Saturday. Doughan advises drivers to be aware and slow down for racers along both North and South Shore.