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Triathletes hit the coulee this weekend


It appears that the weatherman might cooperate for Saturday’s 10th annual Grand Columbian Triathlon, organized by Tri-Freaks, an endurance sports organization.

The forecast is for a high of 68 degrees and a low of 48, with partly cloudy skies, a 20-percent chance of rain and winds out of the southwest at 10 mph.

This is good news for those competing and finishing up with the triathlon, or a part of it, during the heat of the day.

Swimmers will splash off in what race officials say will be about 60-degree water at Spring Canyon.

Up to a couple hundred athletes, many with their families, plan to compete this year in a variety of events from the Ultra (Iron) Distance that includes a 3.8-kilometer swim, a 180K bike, 42.2K run; the Long (Half Iron) Course - 1.9K swim, 90K bike and 21.1K run; Olympic Distance - 1.5K swim, 45K bike and 10K run; Ultra Aquabike (just the swim and bike; Long Aquabike; Olympic Aquabike; Ultra Duathlon - 5.0 K run, 180K bike and 42.2K run; Long (half) Duathlon - 5.0 km run, 90 km bike, and 21.1 km run.

The swim start and bike start are at Spring Canyon and all run courses start at the Lower Visitor Center Park, where the bike course ends.

Race officials stated that they are still in need of volunteers for the many events. You can contact Dana Barkull at (360) 502-1695 to volunteer.

A Rotary Club Pre-Race Carb loading dinner will be held Friday evening from 6-8 p.m. at the Church of the Nazarene for $10 per individual and $25 for a family; and the Iron Awards ceremony will include a breakfast at the Eagles Lodge in Grand Coulee at a cost of $6 a person or $20 for families.

More details of the event are published in a special section inside this week’s Star newspaper.

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