Inaugural triathlon set for Sunday, Ennis Lake to Pony

A handful of brave souls will embark upon Kobayashi Beach at Ennis Lake early on Sunday morning for the inaugural running of the Madison Triathlon, the final component of the Madison Trifecta combining the Madison Marathon and Duathlon that were held earlier this summer.

The triathlon begins with 450-yard triangular swim starting and finishing on the beach before beginning the 22-mile cycling leg up North Meadow Creek Road to Potosi Hot Springs Campground in the Beaverhead Deerlodge National Forest. From there, competitors will begin a 9-mile run to finish the race in Pony. While race director Sam Korsmoe said the event lies somewhere between a sprint triathlon and an Iron Man, the cycling and running legs of the race should prove to be the most challenging.

“This tri is maybe a little more difficult than other triathlons around the state,” Korsmoe said.

The cycling leg is a fairly consistent uphill climb where riders gain approximately 3,000 feet in elevation over the 22-mile section, topping out at nearly 8,000 feet. The route goes from dirt on the North Ennis Lake Road before transitioning to gravel on North Meadow Creek Road before turning into a four-wheel-drive jeep trail for the final few miles.

“That’s a pretty good incline,” Korsmoe said of the elevation gain, adding that most of this section is on well-maintained Forest Service roads. “But there is nothing easy about that.”

And while the run is nowhere near the 26.2-mile full marathon of Iron Man caliber, or the Madison Marathon for that matter, the nine miles from Potosi campground to the finish in Pony will be deceptively long, said Korsmoe.

“A 9 mile run is not 5k, and its not a 10k,” he added. “You kind of have to be a pretty good runner to be able to compete at that distance.”

Korsmoe expects to have about 15 competitors for the race. If you’re interested in competing, you can sign up for the event on www.racemontana.com or contact Korsmoe at 570-4531.

According to the race announcement for the triathlon as listed on the Madison Marathon website, competitors who finish the race on Sunday to complete this summer’s Madison Trifecta will receive the TBA Award, “because anyone crazy or tough enough to complete all three events in a single summer IS a total bad ass.”

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