This past weekend Lisa (Frenetic Fitness) let me hang out with her and watch the EXTERRA DeGray Lake and EXTERRA EPIC.  I have been interested in triathlons for a few months and I wanted to witness the madness for myself, before I started training seriously.  WOW.  It was crazy wild.  This is an trail triathlon and I can already tell this type is more suited for me.  As I venture further into running and endurance sports, I am finding I fit more snugly into the trail group.  I train mostly on trails, so it kind of works out.

First, you have to swim.  The regular group swam 900 yards and the EPIC group swam 1 mile.  Holy crap.  I can only swim 200 yards before I start to drown, so this part of the race amazed me.  I watched the folks just hop out of the water and run (yes run) to their bikes.  Also, let me give you some advice about spectating a tri: hang out at the transition area during this time.  The men strip to almost nothing and it is not a bad view.  I mean, shield your eyes and respectfully turn your back.

Next, they ride.  11 miles and 33 miles.  I missed that part because I was getting positioned with Lisa for her job of taking photos.  I have experienced the trails at Iron Mountain and they are no joke.  There are big rocks everywhere and sharp turns and big hills.  The trails are brutal.

Finally, they run.  4.5 miles and 10 miles.  The run starts with a huge hill.  In my pictures below you can see how steep the first climb is.  Some folks ran up it and others walked and ate.  Whichever they were doing, we cheered and Lisa took photos.  I was in awe and each and every one of them inspired me.

Here are my photos of the first three women to come up the hill in the EPIC group.  I don’t know if they finished in this order, but they still all still looked strong.




Those women are beasts and I want to be just like them.

You can read more about the weekend and see all the awesome photos at Arkansas Outside.


  1. Thanks for hanging out in the cold with me. A lot of those guys and gals are monster athletes but isn’t it cool to see the ones who look like average Joes or Janes or the guy who had open heart surgery and keeps going. Or the “not bad for almost 70” guy. I won’t mention Simon’s teeny briefs in transition.

  2. Ha! Love the bit about respectfully turning your back! Made me chuckle.

What do you think?