Polson to hold its first annual triathlon Aug. 18

Print Article

One of the many serene views the bike portion of the race has to offer participants. 

POLSON — On Aug. 18, the town of Polson will transform into a course for one of the sports world’s most challenging types of races: the triathlon. 

In its inaugural year, the Polson Triathlon is believed to be the town’s first ever and is most likely the first one in the area to dip into Flathead Lake, according to race director Matt Seeley.

POLSON — On Aug. 18, the town of Polson will transform into a course for one of the sports world’s most challenging types of races: the triathlon. 

In its inaugural year, the Polson Triathlon is believed to be the town’s first ever and is most likely the first one in the area to dip into Flathead Lake, according to race director Matt Seeley.

“It’s kind of a big deal western Montana, because for years everyone thought that Flathead Lake would be a perfect venue for a triathlon,” Seeley said.

The start of this scenic race will be at the edge of the swimming area in Riverside Park, where participants will enter the water and perform two counter-clockwise laps to complete the 1.5-kilometer swim portion of the race. 

After exiting the the water up the boat ramp in the park, contestants will mount their bikes and travel their way around a 40-kilometer loop that offers plenty of tough hills to conquer and an unbeatable view of the Mission Mountains.

“There’s just some gorgeous roads out there, which get very little traffic,” Seeley said. “I think riders that come here that haven’t been in this area will be impressed by the views.”

Finally, after racers have returned to Riverside Park, they will ditch their bikes and circle the town on foot for 10-kilometer run section of the race. 

“The run course will be a neat chance for them to see all the neighborhoods and all the nice areas we have south of the highway in town,” Seeley said.

Runners can expect to pick up the pace during the final two miles of the race, as it is mostly downhill, before crossing the finish line in front of Cove Deli and Pizza on 3rd Avenue West.

Seeley, who has lived in Polson for 15 years, said the idea of a triathlon in Polson had been “brewing” for a while, but it wasn’t until recent years that things truly came together.

“It was just a matter of time to pull together the impetus and the energy to take the process on,” Seeley said.

An impressive triathlete himself, Seeley said the sport has been steadily gaining popularity as of late, propelling the process of putting together the Polson Triathlon forward.

“Triathlon has grown to be a more and more popular event around the Northwest and all around the country, so I just think this is the perfect location,” Seeley said. “That’s what I think created the need for it.”

Support from the community has helped facilitate that need, as over 100 volunteers have already signed on to help out at the event.

Additional assistance came from the city, when it decided to pave a new pathway in Riverside Park.

“That was another way the city really supported our efforts,” Seeley said. “We can get in and out of the transition on the bikes without having to go next to the highway.”

However, it was the growth of the Mission Valley Rounders, a local swimming, running and cycling club, that showed Seeley the town was ready.

The race will also be an opportunity to “showcase” Polson to the rest of the state and region, according to Seeley.

“This one of the activities we thought could really enhance Polson’s reputation and get a lot of people to come here and see what we’ve got here,” Seeley said. 

Unlike most events of its kind, Seeley said the Polson Triathlon is unique in that it will be a more “visible” and “high-profile” event because it travels through downtown.

Another special feature of the race will be five aid stations along the course that will be run by local youth organizations.

The groups will dress up and compete to prove who has the best station, with donations and prizes going out to the winners.

So far, Seeley said 100 competitors from all over the state have signed up for the race, with some coming from as far away as Arizona.

He is hoping to bulk that number up to 250 by race time.

Eventually, Seeley would like to see the event evolve into one of the Northwest’s premier races.

“I hope in future years we can grow it into a big regional race that people come from all over to compete in,” Seeley said. 

He knows, however, that the first impression will be vital in achieving that goal and plans on making sure it will be a strong one.

“I want to do a good job and make the extra effort to put on a very high-class event so that the racers that come this first year get treated to all the bells and whistles that they can expect from a nice event,” Seeley said.

All the proceeds of the event will go to Mission Valley Aquatics and local youth swimming.

The starting point of the upcoming Polson Triathlon.

Print Article

Read More Lifestyle

Local rodeo contestant tearing up the circuit

August 24, 2017 at 9:32 am | Lake County Leader Last year, rodeo contestant Tyler Houle barely missed qualifying for the 2016 National High School rodeo in Gillette and that near miss was the catalyst that sparked him to a successful 2017 campaign...

Comments

Read More

Charlo resident fulfills dream of running restaurant

July 28, 2017 at 11:08 am | Lake County Leader Walking into Stella’s Bakery & Deli, a cozy feeling is fueled by fresh flowers on each table and the smells wandering from the kitchen, filling the air. Located at 62599 U.S. Highway 93 in Rona...

Comments

Read More

Standing Arrow Powwow celebrates 40 years

July 20, 2017 at 11:31 am | Lake County Leader A steady cadence was kept by drums Friday evening as the sun slowly began to set, marking the second night of the 40th annual Standing Arrow Powwow. Held on July 13-16 at the Elmo Powwow Grounds on...

Comments

Read More

Art display opening showcases local talent

July 09, 2017 at 5:00 am | Lake County Leader Works of art created by both youth and adult artists are featured in the current show, “Single, Double, Triple” at the Sandpiper Art Gallery on Polson’s Main Street. A reception for the show, wh...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 883-4343
PO BOX 1090
Polson, MT 59860

©2017 Lake County Leader Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X