Hundreds expected to participate in Tri-Loppet this weekend

The expected 500-plus paddlers congregating for the City of Lakes Tri-Loppet event this Saturday might set a new Minnesota record.

The Tri-Loppet, an urban canoe, run and bike race, is set to take place June 27 at 9 a.m. The event begins at Thomas Beach on Lake Calhoun with an eight kilometer (5 mile) paddling race across the Chain of Lakes. The 300 canoes and kayaks (canoes can have two paddlers) could set a record for the largest number of paddling boats ever assembled in one place at one time in Minnesota, race organizers say.  

After paddling, the racers transition to a five-kilometer (3 mile) run through Theodore Wirth Park. Timing chips, by Championship Minnesota, are attached to the participants’ ankles to track the progress of competitors over the three courses.  

The final section of the race is an 11-kilometer (7 mile) bike race through Wirth Park, which varies from narrow trails to asphalt and grass. Awards will be announced at noon at Wirth Beach for the top three individuals and teams.  

There are three categories for relay teams, including family, corporate and general, as well as doubles and solo categories. Registration for all categories is closed.

For spectators, parking is available at the Calhoun Executive Center at the corner of Calhoun Parkway and Excelsior Boulevard. There will be shuttle buses from the parking lot to the start area. Spectators can follow the race from Lake Calhoun to Wirth Park while enjoying a bike ride themselves.  

The City of Lakes Nordic Ski Foundation also sponsors other athletic events, such as the City of Lakes Loppet cross-country ski race and the City of Lakes Trail Loppet.