News & Stories

Tri-Loppet Adventures with NSJ and Anwatin
July 17, 2013

Jezir (Antwain) and Byron Lubenkov both enjoyed a sense of accomplishment after the race.
Jezir (Antwain) and Byron Lubenkov both enjoyed a sense of accomplishment after the race.

At the food table after the 2013 Tri-Loppet Triathlon, among the usual mix of college-age and adult athletes, exhausted middle-schoolers could be found, heads shorter than the rest of the competitors but equally muddy as they reached for watermelon slices and hallmark Loppet lefse just beyond the finish line. Athletes from The Loppet’s middle school teams, Anwatin and Nellie Stone, came out to race the Tri-Loppet “They were totally exhausted afterwards but it gives them something to be proud of,” says Coach Allie Rykken of Team Anwatin. “Plus, it should make those ten-minute ski races go by quickly.”

“For a lot of those kids that’s the longest they’ve ever been continuously active, and the longest distance they’ve ever covered, which is pretty cool,” says Coach John Miller of Team Nellie Stone. Most of the middle-schoolers finished in just under four hours, often accompanied by either a coach or a Paddle Partner, one of the adults who volunteered to paddle with a young athlete.

“The kids that have done it before talk about it year-long so I think even the kids who have no reason to know about the tri-loppet know about it, they talk about it amongst themselves so everyone gets excited about it,” says Coach Allie about the kids’ enthusiasm.

Fred (Anwatin) and George Boody were paddle partners during the UCare Tri-Loppet.
Fred (Anwatin) and George Boody were paddle partners during the UCare Tri-Loppet.

“Nayeli [Hernandez] wrote a book about her Tri-Loppet,” said new Adventures Director Anthony Taylor, “her whole family was hyped, they brought it out to show me. It was literally 20 pages with the story and hand-drawn pictures.” After hearing the story of Nayeli’s adventure, Taylor also found out that Nayeli’s Paddle Partner is now becoming her year-round Mentor.

Some kids’ Tri-Loppet stories were a continuation of the previous year’s, like Nellie Stone athlete Litavius Munn’s noticeable improvement, and some stories, like Nayeli’s, were all-new. As these stories pass through the middle-school teams throughout the year, increasing numbers of kids will decide to come out for the adventure next year. Join them by visiting triloppet.com and signing up for your adventure!