Triatheletes race across frozen Greenway

Skiers dressed warmly for 13-mile trek in negative temperatures to raise money.

Participants ski during the IceMan Triathlon on Saturday at the Grand Forks Greenway. Photo by Shae Bonifacio/The Dakota Student.

Sub-zero temperatures didn’t keep competitors from racing in the fifth annual Extreme North Dakota IceMan Triathalon on Saturday across the Grand Forks Greenway.

The contest began at 9 a.m. and stretched for miles along the Greenway. Nearly 30 participants began with a short uphill sprint before strapping on cross country skis for a three-mile leg.

The second jaunt was a seven-mile extreme bicycle ride on and off the Greenway paths. Participants were allowed to pick up their bikes and run with them if they were having too hard of a time biking through the snow — and many of them did just that.

After a three-mile run, participants sledded into the finish line back at Lincoln Park.

UND senior Caleb Kobilansky competed for his third time. To get in shape for triathlons, Kobilansky does weight lifting, running, swimming, rock climbing, yoga and free diving.

“I try to stay as active as possible and work out whenever I have time to,” Kobilansky said. “This can be one to three times a day, at five to seven times a week.”

Participants raced as three-person relay teams or solo. The majority of solo racers were over the age of 30 and in peak physical condition.

They dressed in tight-fitting ski clothing, hats, scarves and gloves — all more than necessary given the conditions.

“To stay warm, I incorporate different layers depending on the temperature — base layer, mid layer, top layer, windproof layer,” Kobilansky said.  “What really helps for maintaining warmth in your extremities is using rubber gloves under your normal gloves and plastic bags for your feet.”

Kobilansky said merino wool is important clothing because of it’s warmth as well as moisture wicking qualities.

“The hardest aspect of IceMan is regulating temperature between the three portions — ski, bike and run,” Kobilansky said. “I say this because you have to dress appropriately to balance being not too warm during the ski portion, but warm enough to withstand the wind during the bike, as well as maintaining a threshold pace that’s not too exhausting.”

Proceeds from the Extreme North Dakota IceMan Triathlon went to Ground Up Adventures, a local North Dakota non-profit dedicated to bringing adventure to the region’s youth and larger community.

Kobilansky see’s the IceMan Triathlon as being beneficial for himself, the community and Ground Up Adventures.

Kobilansky is currently preparing for a 360-mile expedition run across North Dakota to raise awareness about the impact of the oil boom.

“Racing in extreme temps like this really puts your mind and body to the test,” Kobilansky said.

Adele Kieger is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected].