There are few places on this planet that are more perfectly suited to host a triathlon than Winona, Minnesota. With every stroke, pedal and stride, youll encounter incredible views and beautiful terrain.
It will begin at dawn, as you set up in transition in front of Lake Winona and look up to see Sugarloaf rising above the town below.
Following the swim, you will begin your journey into the true calling card for this event, the Mississippi River Bluff Country.
But there is a price to pay for all this ambiance. The terrain that makes this race so inviting is the very same terrain that makes this event one of the most challenging triathlons in the Midwest.
For those brave enough to take on the international course, athletes will be met with a surprise during the second half of their 40k bike leg an ascent up Garvin Heights, a 1-mile climb that was a favorite of 3-time Tour De France Champion Greg Lemond.
Note: the sprint course gets to avoid this nasty climb, but still gets some fun rolling hills.
Garvin Heights was recently featured as one of Bicycling Magazines Top 100 Climbs in the U.S. Once you ride it, youll know why. Your reward for taking up this challenge comes a few miles later with a thrilling, winding descent down the bluff towards the St. Marys University campus.
Following the bike leg, both sprint and international distance competitors will enjoy a fast and flat run around the beautiful Lake Winona bike path, in the shadow of Sugarloaf.
The finish will take you back to the band shell, where a rock & roll soundtrack will be provided to help you cross the line with a little more giddyap.
Swim takes place in the shadow of the Mississippi River Bluffs in beautiful Lake Winona.
Bikers then depart the transition are situated near the historic Lake Park Bandshell and begin to wind their way into the bluffs. Rolling hills provide a trilling and challenging ride.
The International distance portion also features an iconic 1-mile climb up Garvin Heights Road, a true test that Greg LeMond, himself, used to train on during his Tour De France days.
The fastest cyclists to ascend the signature climb are awarded the Mt/ Borah "King of the Bluffs" Jersey.
A flat/fast run around Lake Winona finishes off the day.
Lake Winona - Lake Park Bandshell Lake Park Drive Winona, MN 55987