More to Tri participants brave cold for last leg

Click here to watch a video about the run.

Dozens of hardcore fitness fanatics shivered in their swimsuits just as the sun came up today before diving into Lake Calhoun for the last leg of the “More to Tri” run, bike and swim event that started Sept. 1.

The event, which Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak participated in, was meant to showcase the city as an “active and healthy” community. More to Tri’s three legs were set up at different locations in Minneapolis to show off its amenities.

It started with a 5-kilometer run through Minnehaha Falls Park Sept. 1, continued with a bike ride through Downtown Sept. 2 and ended today with a short swim from Lake Calhoun’s Thomas Beach.

Participants also had an option of paddling a canoe or kayak this morning, but a surprising number of people were willing to get in the water, despite temperatures hovering around 50 degrees.

“I swim in (Lake) Harriet or Calhoun about four times a week, so it’s not unusual,” Rybak said while drying off after the swim. “I don’t normally swim in this cold of weather but the water was beautiful and you can’t beat the sunrise.”

The event even attracted Fort Wayne, Ind. City Council member Mitch Harper, a delegate in town for the convention. As a triathlon and ultra-marathon director back home, Harper said he was eager to participate. He paddled a kayak this morning after feeling the water and deciding it was a bit too chilly.

“This has been great,” Harper said about the More to Tri. “And it’s shown off Minneapolis very, very well… I go back to my delegation and I tell them about Minneapolis, and what they’re missing in terms of the natural beauty and being able to get around in the neighborhoods. I’m very impressed the city.”

Oceanaire Executive Chef Rick Kimmes grilled a Walleye breakfast for participants after the race.