Slide, Ride, Glide along Superior trails
For the Superior Telegram
In March, local athletes will have the opportunity to try a new variety of “tri.”
The Stride, Ride, Glide Triathlon makes its debut March 4 on the trails in the Superior Municipal Forest.
The event adds a ski segment to go with the traditional running and biking triathlon segments — giving the race a distinct Northland flavor.
“It’s really fun,” said Eve Graves, who is organizing the event. She organized a similar triathlon at Elm Creek in the Twin Cities, beginning in 2002.
The March 4 race begins with a 5-kilometer run and then finishes with a 10k bike and a 10k ski.
Typically, Graves said, the order of events is ski, bike, run. For the event on the Superior Municipal Forest trails, she flipped the order.
“Because I was so tired of biking with frozen toes,” Graves said.
The triathlon can be completed by teams or individuals.
Cost to enter is $60 for individuals and $90 for teams until Feb. 24. Late registration runs Feb. 24 until the day before the race and costs $75 for individuals and $125 for team teams.
The triathlon is limited to 100 participants, and there is no race-day registration. Those who register before Feb. 24 will receive a long-sleeved tech shirt.
Graves is also looking for volunteers to help on the day of the race. To volunteer, contact Graves by Feb. 24 at email@example.com.
All proceeds from the race go toward the Superior Municipal Forest ski trails, which Graves said are some of the best in the area.
“They’re groomed seven days a week, and they’re never crowded,” she said. “They’re really good for the total beginners and they’re also good for the advanced skiers.”
The money raised by the triathlon will help improve the trails further.
Linda Cadotte, director of Parks, Recreation & Forestry for the City of Superior, said new grooming equipment was purchased by the City in anticipation of the fundraiser.
“The money raised will go to help offset those costs as well as all the other expenses and equipment that goes into maintaining high quality trails,” Cadotte said. “We’ve changed the grooming schedule to have someone in the forest and having the ski shack open seven days a week.”
The new equipment purchased includes a John Deere Gator 825i UTV with a removable track system and a 7-foot wide pull-behind groomer. The new purchases replace an 18-year-old snowmobile, 20-year-old six-wheeled turf rig and a pair of four-foot wide groomers the City had owned for a quarter of a century.
“This new UTV and groomer will allow for more grooming passes to be made in a single work day,” said Russ Behlings, superintendent of Parks, Recreation & Forestry. “Currently our grooming operations use a 4-foot wide groomer that requires three or more passes on the same trail to ensure quality corduroy and track are set. ... The unit will also provide better accessibility with less of an impact to wet forest areas in the spring and fall, allowing for more trail improvements to take place.”
Behlings said trails in the Superior Municipal Forest offer great skiing and give visitors a remote experience despite being very close to town. He also touted the variety of scenery and difficulty the trails provide.
“The Yellow Trail seems to be the best trail to sum up the forest, with half of the trail having steep drainages and a knife’s edge ridge leading to a viewpoint,” Behlings said. “The other half is a bit more easygoing with its sandy river shoreline and aspen flats with mixed wetlands.”
The Yellow Trail and surrounding roadways will be closed during the Stride, Ride, Glide event. Graves said she expects the closure to last from 9:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The March 4 race will take place regardless of weather conditions. If snow is too sparse for the skiing segment, the participants will have two running segments and one biking segment.
In the event of cold weather, Graves advised racers to “dress like an onion,” with plenty of layers. Ideal conditions would be 25 degrees and sunny, but the weather doesn’t always cooperate.
Graves recalled one race where the wind chill neared -50 degrees. She wore a bulky hat to keep warm during the opening leg of the race, but when she entered the transition for the biking segment, she hit a snag.
“I couldn’t get my helmet over my hat, and I couldn’t get my hat off because my hands were frozen,” Graves said.
For the event in Superior, volunteers will be posted at each transition station to assist racers if necessary.
To register for the Stride, Ride, Glide Tri or for more information, visit www.zapevent.com/reg/event/13297.
Special reduced registration prices are available for high school and college participants. Contact Graves at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.