Triathlon, U.P. Ironman move to Negaunee, Ishpeming this weekend

ISHPEMING – Set for Ishpeming and Negaunee this weekend after five years in Engadine, the Sportsman’s Triathlon and U.P. Ironman Challenge has attracted just 20 registered four-person teams to date.

But that’s OK with co-coordinator Randall Wellings of Straight Line Archery of Ishpeming.

“We didn’t expect big numbers (this year),” he said. “But once this event becomes known here, we’re going to have a mega event.”

The Triathlon/Challenge calls for competition in 3-D archery and trap shooting at the Negaunee Rod and Gun Club Saturday, then golf at the Wawonowin Country Club in west Ishpeming on Sunday.

Saturday’s competition begins at 9 a.m., while the golfing Sunday is set to get under way at 8 a.m. Spectators are welcome.

“The event stopped in Engadine, where it had 30 teams the first year to 42 afterwards,” Wellings said. “It was going to go by the wayside and I thought that was criminal. We couldn’t let that happen.

“Once we get this one under our belts, we’re going to have competitors crawling out of the woodwork.”

Each trap shooting contestant will have 25 attempts at 16 yards, with the more advanced Ironman entrants doing two rounds.

“The second round, they’ll do a ‘wobble,’ an international round where … the shooter will have no idea where the clay pigeons will be coming out,” Wellings said. “It will be insane.”

In 3-D archery competition, entrants will have one shot at 25 animal targets spread around the course.

“Each target will be at a known distance,” Wellings said. “I want everyone to have fun. I don’t want arrows in the woods.”

“Regular” triathlon contestants will play nine holes of golf Sunday, Wellings said, while the four teams of Ironman participants will go a full 18.

“We wanted to keep the competition fun, but we also wanted to have the serious guys take part,” Wellings said, adding there will be prizes for the triathletes and cash awards for the first-place Ironman finishers.

UPaws of Marquette County and Camp Cuervo in Fort Knox, Kentucky, will be beneficiaries of proceeds from this weekend’s event.

Entries will be accepted until 5 p.m. today. The cost is $80 per each triathlete, or $150 per Ironman participant.

The fees include lunch and dinner.

Call Straight Line Archery at 486-6845 to enter.

The Greater Ishpeming-Negaunee Chamber of Commerce, Negaunee Rod and Gun Club and the Wawonowin Country Club are also sponsoring the event.

Information compiled by Senior Sports Writer Craig Remsburg. He can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 251.