NORTH MANKATO, MN

Sunday was a perfect morning for either a swim, bike ride or run; so why not do all three?

The North Mankato Triathlon was in town and attracting more athletes than ever before.

Hundreds showed out to get a good workout in while having a little fun.

Over the past decade or so, triathlons have become very popular as it works out your body in more than one core area.

"Triathlons have really been an enjoyment," explained Race Director Mark Bongers.  "It really challenges you on multiple levels you know with the swim which is very cardiovascular and arms and legs, then you have the bike of course which is very leg driven and then you run and it's very cardiovascular driven."

The North Mankato Triathlon is a little more inclusive than your average triathlon.  This event is considered a sprint, meaning you swim a quarter mile, bike 12 miles and run an additional 3 miles.

"There's half–iron distances which is like basically a 1.2 mile swim then a 56 mile bike and a 13.1 mile run so that's your half–iron and then of course you have your iron distance which is a 2.4 mile, 118 mile bike and then a full marathon after that.  You can get as crazy as you want but the sprint, this is a great one to start things out," said Bongers.

The quarter mile swim was the first event.

Competitors had to swim one lap around buoys placed throughout Hiniker Pond.

After completing the swimming portion, participants run, strip off their wet gear as fast as they can and hop on a bike for the 12 mile ride that takes you down Judson Bottom Road, up the hill to Rockford Road and back past Spring Lake Park before arriving at Hiniker Pond.

Athletes then ditched the wheels for their feet in a 3 mile run, the final stretch.

The run took competitors from Hiniker Pond to Spring Lake Park where they did a couple laps around the park before returning back to Hiniker to see how they finished.

Bongers mentioned the event is bringing in new people via a new event they incorporated in with the traditional North Mankato Triathlon.

"You know the last two years we've done a rookie triathlon experience which is basically trying to rookies involved which is first timers involved," said Bongers.  "Last year we had about 30 of them and this year we had close to 50 so that's very excited that growth there because those are the ones that come back and start growing this as we start to move in to the next coming years and stuff."

If you or someone you know is interested in participating in a triathlon, this particular event is an annual one, so start your training now!

--KEYC News 12