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STURGIS | What to do, when life in western South Dakota hands an active person a typically cold winter day?

Celebrate, embrace the frigidity with an extreme sports event, that’s what.

The Sturgis Rally & Events department, when handed a frozen lemon, decided to make frozen lemonade with their winter version of a triathlon, combining back-to-back running, biking and swimming competitions in one day.

“We were brainstorming on what kind of winter events we could do,” said Sturgis Rally & Events director Jerry Cole.

The event, called a Frost-athlon, is set for Feb. 16 in and around Sturgis.

“A lot of people are doing fat-tire bike races now. We thought we wanted to do something different, so how about a winter triathlon? There’s really nothing around here like that,” Cole said.

The adult portion of the event, headquartered at the Sturgis Community Center, includes a round-trip 5-kilometer run on the city bike path, a round-trip 8.5-mile bicycle ride, using the bike path along with Centennial and 7th Cavalry recreation trails near Fort Meade, followed by a 500-yard swim at the community center’s indoor pool.

“We have all the elements we can use here,” Cole said.

Youth category (age 12-14) distances are shorter for all three events.

Entries are limited to the first 100 participants. Awards will be given to the top 3 overall men and overall women finishers, the top three in each age category and the top relay team.

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Pre-registration, if completed today, Jan. 31, includes an event T-shirt.

Fees are $20 for individuals and $40 per relay team through Jan. 31, increasing to $35 per individual and $55 per relay team starting on Feb. 1. Registration closes at noon on Feb. 15.

Proceeds go to benefit Sturgis youth summer programs. There are no refunds or transfers.

Bike categories include Fat-Tire Bike, the bike of choice for snow-covered trails, and Mountain Bike.

Cole said Tuesday that only extreme weather conditions would postpone or cancel the event.

“It could be 30-below to 60-above. We could have no snow, or 50 inches of snow, so be prepared,” he said. “We’re hoping for fairly good weather, but we’ll see,”

“The main thing is, come out and have fun,” Cole said.

Cole said plenty of openings for entries remained for the inaugural Frostathlon, a benefit for Sturgis summer youth events.

“We have a couple teams that are bragging right now. We need more teams to give them some competition,” Cole said.

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