Bluff Land Triathlon scheduled for October 13 By Kathleen Lynn

Ready to test your skills as a runner, biker and hill-climber? On October 13, 2018, the Foundation for Rushford-Peterson Schools will be holding its fifth annual Bluff Land Triathlon (BLT) Run/Bike/Hike event.

This Bluff Land Tri starts with a 5K run, transitions to a 15.5-mile bike, and finishes with a  2.1 mile hike up (and down) Magelssen Bluff. Kathy Wade, who serves on the event’s organizing team, described the event as “A family day. All can get out and participate.”

Last year’s BLT had 65 participants, 46 of which participated in the full triathlon. Nineteen participants elected to do only certain segments of the event.

This year’s event brings several changes, including a Junior BLT for kids ages 3-10. This fun-filled event will consist of three legs: 1) a race around the baseball field; 2) an obstacle course at the Creekside Park field; and 3) a soccer ball route to the finish line. No lunch is provided with the $10 admission  fee.

Check-in for the Junior BLT begins at 8:30 a.m. at Creekside Park, with the start scheduled for 9:30 a.m.. There will be four age divisions, 3-4 years old, 5-6 years old, 7-8 years old, 9-10 years old, which will all have medals for the top finishers. is provided with the children’s fee.

The Adult BLT will have a 9:30 a.m. check-in at Creekside Park, with the race starting at 10:30 a.m.. Participants can do all three events for the fee of $50 (include a meal and T-shirt) or pick an event Run/Bike/Hike—for the fee of $20 each (no meal, but T-shirt included).

The Family rate is $100 for the events (includes fourP T-shirts). Medals will be awarded to winners in top finishers in each category. Parking will be at Creekside Park. Registration can be done anytime up to the time of the event. Registration can be done in person or on line at www.foundationforr-pschools.org, or at www.tempotickets.com/BluffLandTri. More information can also be found on the Bluffland Tri Facebook page.

The Adult BLT will feature a chip timing system that allows each participant’s time to be accurately kept track of as he/she passes the various check points. Previously, BLT organizers had determined that this system was not very cost effective for this event, although desired. Through the assistance of Gopher Events, the organizers are trialing the use of the chips, which are often used at events like road races and triathlons.

BLT committee member Brenda Tesch describes the BLT is a “Terrific event for first timers” to participate in.

Both Wade and Tesch had the following suggestions for BLT participants.  1) Bring a bike helmet (required ). 2) Make sure to use broken in running/biking shoes. 3) Be prepared. 4) Bring extra dry socks—you may want to change them. 4) Dress in layers. The weather can be unpredictable.” Tesch added “…all can get out and be active.”

The routes have been changed and will be well marked. The 5K Run will be on flat, paved surfaces (averaging 20-25 minutes) through Rushford. The 14.2 Mile Bike Ride will be on flat, paved surfaces, no wooden bridges (averaging one hour). The 2.1 Mile Hike will take participants up through the freshly maintained and updated trails leading up and down Magelssen Bluff weaving through beautiful views along the way (times vary) at this time of year.

Magelssen Bluff has 300 steps and is nearly 400 foot high. The Rushford Public Works Department and the Sentence to Serve Program have been working diligently this year to beautify, repair, and maintain the trails for hikers to enjoy, and BLT triathletes will benefit.

The Rushford Police Department will be monitoring the traffic flow around Highway 43 to insure event safety. The Rushford Fire and Rescue Department will also be on stand-by. 

The Local Lions Club Volunteers will be assisting in monitoring the routes, checking in participants along the way against their lists, etc. Rushford IGA is providing the box lunches, which “were a big hit when they did this last year”, according to Wade. Kwik Trip is providing water and bananas to participants along the BLT to refresh them.

The BLT is hosted by the Foundation for R-P Schools, which uses the money raised to fund scholarships and assist the Angel Fund, which helps local children in need.