Nearly 400 athletes took on the 6th annual Traverse City Triathlon at Bowers Harbor on Old Mission Peninsula on Sunday.
There were relays, sprints and Olympic level races, but no matter the level of the athlete, it was a challenge for each crossing the finish line.
Racers started bright and early jumping into West Grand Traverse Bay, after that it was off on a bike ride around the peninsula, and finished with a foot race ending at Peninsula Township Park. ??Definitely I feel really accomplished,?? said Cassie Misiewicz, women??s sprint triathlon 2nd place finisher. ??It was fun to try the first one and hopefully I'll do another one sometime soon.??
??It's more like muscle fatigue for me, the cardio is fine, but my calves are killing me,?? said Scott Kimber after his first triathlon. Racers were able to choose from a 32 or 16 mile race, and they came from all over to participate.
??We got people from all over the country, as far as Washington state, definitely lots of people from Michigan and the Traverse City area,?? said race director Joel Gaff. ??This race has turned into our tradition for a lot of people, I think a dozen or so people have done all six of the Traverse City Triathlons and as you can see around us the community has really got behind it.??
Hundreds of those community members lined the streets to cheer on the brave athletes.
??During the bike and during the swim you??re kind of by yourself but every now and then there's somebody there to motivate you, ring a bell or something like that, and it was really nice, really fun,?? said Kimber.
??It's kind of fun,?? said Riley Hazen. ??Waking up early isn't my favorite but it??s fun to come out and see all these people working hard.??
The location makes the triathlon one of a kind.
??Bowers harbor area, this whole area of Old Mission Peninsula is absolutely gorgeous, which is the reason why we put on the race here because of the scenery on the course,?? said Gaff. ??So the racers go by vineyards, by the Grand Traverse Bay, lots of rolling hills, so not only is it a fun race but it's a challenging race and a scenic race.??
Jamie Chapman and Sean Kickbush were the two winners in the Olympic race, and Sara Randolph and Craig Hoogerwerf won the sprint.