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Published December 20, 2010, 12:13 AM

Wagner: GF’s Iceman Triathlon blends adventure and fun in chilly Northland

During the course of my training for a February marathon, the past week has me wondering: what is the best time to train for the 26.2-mile monster? This marks the second consecutive year in which my plans call for a winter marathon at some warm-weather destination.

During the course of my training for a February marathon, the past week has me wondering: what is the best time to train for the 26.2-mile monster?

This marks the second consecutive year in which my plans call for a winter marathon at some warm-weather destination.

While I’ve also participated in marathons in May, June and October, my thought has been that a winter marathon would be a reward for all the hard work put into training day after day.

Except it’s starting to seem training for winter races is far more difficult than any other time of the year, particularly if your goals are performance-based.

There are the holidays to contend with and the weather makes it much more difficult to log miles or perform speed workouts.

And that may have me reconsidering my strategy for future races. Why not run a shorter distance race, or simply enjoy easy running, when getting away for a winter break?

My thoughts are evolving on the topic, especially after learning about an upcoming Grand Forks event.

It may not fall into the epic or life-changing category, but it sounds like a blast.

The second annual Extreme North Dakota Iceman Triathlon combines approximately 14 miles of cross-country skiing, biking, running and sledding down a hill to the finish. Individuals and teams can compete in the event, which is designed to be fun. Sure, there may have been a winner last year among the 90 or so who participated, but the idea is to celebrate winter in the Northland and have a blast doing it.

The Grand Forks groups spearheading the event puts on some adventure races in the spring and fall, and last year wanted to add a winter race to encourage people to be active in the cold months.

“It really is a race that is for all types of races,” said Michaela Schell, co-coordinator for the triathlon and a member of the Grand Forks Young Professionals, one of the groups involved in the event. “It has a bit of adventure and some challenges that the average triathlon doesn’t have, but it is not a daunting race. Really, anyone can participate.”

Hard-core races have their own division and relay teams allow for friends to experience the event together. But there is one mandatory aspect of the race, Schell said.

“The final ‘fourth’ leg we have participants jump on a sled and take a hill slide to the finish line,” said Schell, who also promises some cool winter gear for participants.

For more on the Feb. 26, 2011, event, visit www.endracing.com online.


Forum News Director Steve Wagner writes a running blog, which can be found online at runningspud.areavoices.com. He can be reached via email at swagner@forumcomm.com.

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