Little kids love to run. It seems like most of them are so thrilled to be walking that
they can’t wait to explore everything at top speed. Have you ever watched them?
They throw their arms back and race like the wind—even if that wind is only
blowing a mile an hour. The look of pure joy and pride on their faces tells you that
they know they’re fast!
Somewhere along the way, most of us lose that joy of running fast. We’d rather sit
and watch TV or get lost in our iphones. It’s sad when you think about it—not just
the disconnecting from the world, but the immobility. Luckily there’s an annual
event in Steuben County to help adults recapture the pure adrenaline feeling of
going fast in one of three ways.
The Pokagon Triathlon recently celebrated its 10 th anniversary. Every May,
participants from around the country gather at the state park for the triathlon. Take
a dip in refreshing Lake James for the 750-meter swim course (one lap for the
sprint, two for the Olympic event). Then hop on your bike for a 20K or 40K ride
along Steuben County’s beautiful yet deceptively challenging country roads. Then
finish with a trail run through the state park.
If you’re not up to run, bike and swim, there’s also a bike and run. If you’re still not
sure, there’s also just a run. With a 5K and 10K, in both men’s and women’s
divisions, there’s sure to be something to fit everyone’s style, from the Olympic
athlete to those reaching for a personal best. Heck, it doesn’t even have to be a best.
It could just be proving to yourself that you can still run like that kid you once were
(fast as a mile an hour wind).
Or why not grab a friend and compete team style? Two and three member teams can
race relay style, with each member performing a separate leg of the race. Most folks
finish within four hours. And there are some great prizes too. Those who register
early get a t-shirt. Men and women’s races are awarded overall and masters winners
while division winners are recognized in 5 year age divisions with first, second, and
third prizes as well as prizes for the first 3-person and first 2 person team. Athena
and Clydesdale triathletes are also recognized for each race.
You’ll not only feel good for doing it, but you’ll help raise money for the YMCA of
Steuben County and KPC Media in Education.
It must be getting better too. This year there were 200 participants, double the
number from last year. I hear the organizers really know what they’re doing.
So what are you waiting for? Make a goal to start training now for next year’s
Pokagon Triathlon. Your inner kid will thank you!
Erika Celeste is an award-winning journalist who has worked in radio, print, television, and marketing. She owns and operates New Moon Media Group where she’s written several documentaries and books.