News & Stories

2010 Tri-Loppet a Rocking Good Time

Some 530 competitors took to the lakes and trails of Minneapolis in the 2010 Tri-Loppet.

After heavy rain Friday night, organizers were forced to modify the bike course – changing from the planned 7.5 mile route to a 2-mile loop on which participants biked two laps.

Bike Course Director John Schmidt made the decision early Saturday morning. “We checked out the course at about 6 a.m. and there were places where the bike started floating away – the water was literally waist-high . . .” Add in a few downed trees and it was obvious that the course would need to change. In the end, Schmidt arrived at a 2 mile loop that took competitors around Wirth Lake, but avoided the flooded out sections along Bassett Creek (which, unfortunately, meant cutting everything north of Highway 55).

While the bike course was a challenge, the rain actually helped the paddling. There had been a large bloom of weeds on the Chain of Lakes over the past week. With the rain, all that disappeared as the water levels quickly rose overnight.

“The paddling was awesome”, gushed Kate Ellis, part of the Nordic Babes racing team, that took top honors in the women’s relay category. “The new paddling course worked well – it was nice to add some distance on Calhoun before hitting the Lake Street bridge (where the course narrows for the first time)”. Other winners included

  • Zach Handler, who repeated as the solo and overall champion (winning a Wilderness Inquiry trip on the Superior Hiking Trail)
  • Elaine Nelson, who moved up from second in 2009 to take the Doubles and overall champion trophy on the women’s side (winning a Wilderness Inquiry kayak trip to the Apostle Islands)
  • Allan Shuros, who won the doubles category, moving up from fifth place in 2009
  • Amy Schultz, who won the women’s solo category
  • Tri My Shoe (Mike Kurth, John Byington, Christine Foster and John Byington) – General Team category
  • An unnamed team consisting of David Rhude, Nordic Ski Foundation employee John Swain and Rebecca Zadroga – Mixed Team
  • The Quality Bike Parts Team, consisting of Brian Vaderah, Jeff Hainlen, Nick Graham and Paul Zeigle – True North Adventures Corporate Category

In the grand prize family team category, Team Skillicorn (Brad, Kelly and daughter Ann) beat defending champion When Pigs Fly. The Skillicorns were impressive all around, but their paddling and biking were particularly notable. Both their paddle and their bike were category best. And that is with nine year-old Ann duffing in the canoe and with Ann and Dad peddling a tandem bicycle together. For their efforts, the Skillicorns win a family trip to Tri-Loppet sponsor Maplelag Resort.

After the race, participants and spectators enjoyed Bellebottom – a great band that hams it up with 70s covers.