July 29, 2010 at 8:30 a.m.
I was assigned to take photos at the swim portion of the race, and I have never seen so many swimmers at this triathlon before. I was told there were another 200 plus triathletes that registered the morning of the race. That coupled with the fact that the volunteers ran out of 1,500 gift bags the night before, makes me believe this weekend's race was the biggest ever. The founder of the race told me that this is the second largest half triathlon in the United States; pretty impressive.
As the swim was ending, I boarded my motorcycle (actually Steve Levey's - thank you Steve) and helped the draft marshals. I have done this for the last three triathlons. We are supposed to monitor riders to make sure no rider is drafting behind another rider. It usually turns out that I am helping riders that have flats out on the course. I think I had collected 13 flat tubes by the end of the day.
When you are riding next to the racers, they usually catch their breath enough to talk to you. Every rider seemed to have the same thing to say. They all told me how great this race is and how much they loved the volunteers that make it possible.
When the bike portion was complete, I rushed home to help with the water station we had set up for the runners. They were already in full swing with runners and cups flying everywhere. Where we live is sort of the runner's abyss. By that I mean there is absolutely no shade whatsoever. So when they hit our water station they are usually very grateful. Like all the other water stations, we offered water, Gatorade, some candy and gum and the runner's favorite a hose to squirt them with.
Again, the runners couldn't be more gracious and thankful to all the volunteers who took time out of a beautiful weekend to help distribute water and cheer them on.
I just wanted to tell all of you who volunteered over the weekend, thank you. I have seen this race grow exponentially over the years and it is because of you. If we didn't have such great volunteers, I guarantee the runners would not keep coming back each year.
The triathlon is all done, and that can only mean that the Almelund Threshing Show is just around the corner. But before the Show gets started on the 13th of August, there is the annual Tractor Caravan that takes place. What in the world is a tractor caravan you say? A whole bunch of tractor enthusiasts who will be displaying their tractors at the Threshing Show, set out on a 24 mile journey that begins north of St. Croix Falls and winds its way to the Threshing grounds. If you love tractors or if you have young children, this caravan is fantastic to watch. Look in this edition of the County Press for more details about the caravan.
I am asked to remind you, if you are the parent of a child who has completed 3rd or 4th grade, and looking for something to do this summer, Safety Camp is perfect. Safety Camp is held at Ojiketa Regional Park in Chisago City. It begins August 5 and is a two day camp. It is a day camp, so there is no trepidation about them staying away for the first time.
What is Safety Camp? It teaches your children safety skills of all kinds. They will learn bike safety, swimming safety, they will get to take a ride on a fire truck boom, they will witness a National Guard helicopter land and then learn about how the Guard helps people. They will listen to seminars from police, ambulance, and other safety personnel during the day.
My son attended Safety Camp last year and had the time of his life. I have taken photos at Safety Camp for years, and every child there is having a great time. Here is the best part, the cost of the camp is free. All you are responsible for is a bag lunch for your child.
Remember to bring your child's bicycle and their swimsuit. Your kids will have a blast, I guarantee it. We have the ad for Safety Camp in this edition of the Press. If you need more information, you are asked to call 651-257-4162.
Chisago City would like everyone to know that the 2010 Ki Chi Saga buttons are now on sale. You can purchase yours at most stores in the area. The button is a collectors piece that will look great in your scrapbook, and the best part is it will save you money during Ki Chi Saga Days.
My family just got back from spending a week up north. Normally when I say up north, I am referring to the Nisswa area, but this year we went way up north. We spent a week on Lake Kabetogama which borders on Canada. Never having stayed or even visited the area, we decided to take a chance and rented a cabin on the lake. After five hours of "are we there yet" we finally arrived at our resort Voyager Park Lodge. Instantly my breath was taken away. Everywhere you looked you saw lake. Not just any lake, a 17 mile long 5 mile wide lake filled with hundreds of picturesque islands.
Within seconds, we hear from inside the cabin "there is no TV in this place". We told the kids that we were going to have to play games and enjoy each other instead of watching TV. As it turns out, we had one of the most wonderful trips we have ever had. We fished, hiked, swam, and laughed all week.
We had a major camera malfunction and lost all of our 100 plus photos.
Without sounding too mushy, there is simply nothing better in the world than spending time with your family away from work, television, and cell phones.
The County Press would like to apologize for not having any County Fair photos last week. We had a major camera malfunction and lost all of our 100 plus photos.
Congratulations to Maxine Gelbmann of North Branch and Gary Gerke of Lindstrom for winning the Chisago County Senior Citizens of the year award.
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