Posted at: 08/04/2013 10:31 PM
Updated at: 08/07/2013 10:53 PM
By: Laura Kennedy
Hundreds of fans looked on above Island Lake as racers took to the water in the first leg of the 27th annual Brewhouse Triathlon.
Duluth native Brian Bich won the race for the second year in a row.
"I went under two hours and that was my goal," Bich said. "If I can go under two hours that's a pretty good race for me at the Olympic distance."
He and other athletes raved about the course change from Pike Lake to Island Lake.
"The transition area is a lot bigger with wider lanes between the bike racks. The beach is really great," Bich said.
"The swim was great and the bike was nice and flat and not as bumpy as the years before," said Lesley Rockwood of Park City, Utah. "I really like the run and the weather. They put on a really great triathlon here. I really like this venue."
Rockwood won the women's division. She loved competing in this northwoods setting.
"It felt fantastic," she said. "I looked behind me with about one mile to go and I thought, oh my gosh, I don't see another woman. So I said, well, I'll just keep wishing it and then I went across and I felt relieved."
The Brewhouse race draws elite competitors and athletes who want to stay in shape for other sports, like Duluth East alum Meirs Moore.
"It's fun to kind of get off the ice a little bit," Moore said. "I think it's good to be a well rounded athlete, you know, be able to do other things. Not a lot of other hockey players could come out here and do this."
With no teammates to lean on, racers rely on themselves and their training to get to the finish line.
"Your body just wants to stop and be done, but I think it's a really good mental test," Moore said. "It's a mental workout to keep pushing yourself."