KEYC - Hundreds Converge To North Mankato Triathlon

Hundreds Converge To North Mankato Triathlon

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NORTH MANKATO, Minn. -

More than 150 competitors, ages 13 to 66, gathered at Hiniker Pond Park, to test themselves both in water and on land.

Between swimming, running and biking, athletes traveled nearly 15 miles while supporters cheered on from the sidelines.

Final Stretch President Mark Bongers said "Mankato itself is a great community for multisports for triathlons and stuff. There's hundreds of people that are very involved in triathlons in this community and it's really kind of the celebration of that. I always loOK at it that way.”

Final Stretch is a group who forms triathlons and other running events all over the state of Minnesota.

For half a decade, they've been coming to North Mankato to give these residents a chance to showcase their endurance.

It took just over an hour, for the first person to cross the finish line, which was aided by one simple tactic.

Top overall finisher and resident of Minnetonka Brett Lovaas said "I felt good right off the get–go. Felt ok on the bike, couple tough hills out there, but once I had the lead, I just told myself to don't look behind you. You kind of get that running scared mentality."

Neither men, women, nor kids had much to fear, as the support from the masses poured over them at almost every stage of the competition.

Either through encouragement or a few high fives, everybody found a way to push and ultimately make it through to the end.

The top rookie finisher says she enjoyed the racing, even though the water was alarming at first.

Rochester's Carrie Langstraat said "As you pass people and swim with people, everybody's encouraging, so it's very fun and it's very collegial. It was very hard. The swim was a little bit of a shock because I hadn't practiced the open water swim and the water is very dark. Gives you a little bit of a panic sense initially."

Many participants were awarded medals for finishing in the Top 3 of their age group.

But all were provided with some freshly–made chocolate chip pancakes, as they completed the triple–sport course.

To see what Final Stretch events are coming up or if you are looking to participate, you can visit finalstretch.com.

- KEYC 12