MIDWESTERN GEM

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - Travel Destination Race -

WHILE DOOR COUNTY might not be a well-known tourist spot for many Cana­di­ans, the area is of­ten re­ferred to as “the Cape Cod of the Mid­west.” It’s easy to see why the area is one of Wis­con­sin’s most pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tions. The long nar­row penin­sula be­tween Green Bay and Lake Michi­gan is about a 90-minute drive from Green Bay and of­fers a huge va­ri­ety of quaint ac­com­mo­da­tions and ac­tiv­i­ties that are sure to keep any triath­lete’s fam­ily and friends busy while they’re out train­ing and rac­ing.

The rac­ing comes in the form of the Door County Triathlon, cel­e­brat­ing its 15th year in 2019. The race, which takes place on July 13 and 14, fea­tures half-Iron and sprint races, along with a kids race. The half-dis­tance race begins with a 1.9 km swim in the clear wa­ters of Horse­shoe Bay. Af­ter that, things get a bit tougher – both the bike and run cour­ses take in some tough climb­ing up Door County Bluff, a 200-foot climb. The bike takes in many of Door County’s scenic back roads and in­cludes a jaunt through the main re­tail area in Stur­geon Bay. The run course con­tin­ues with the pic­turesque tour of Door County, head­ing through Egg Har­bor and of­fer­ing yet an­other jaunt up to the Bluffs (get­ting to the top of the 200 foot climb in a half mile) be­fore the beau­ti­ful fi­nal miles past the stacked stone fences of Horse­shoe Bay Golf Course and a down­hill run to the fin­ish.

It’s an ideal set­ting for a triathlon and of­fers ath­letes an op­por­tu­nity to re­turn to a bit of an old-school feel­ing. This is a well-run in­de­pen­dent race filled with com­mu­nity sup­port and spirit.

Race-cation

Wa­ter is the dom­i­nant theme for any va­ca­tion to Door County. The al­most 110-km long penin­sula in Lake Michi­gan of­fers 500 km of shore­line with lots of out­door recre­ation op­por­tu­ni­ties. There are five state parks, 11 his­toric light­houses (the area has a rich ship­ping his­tory, as boats used to round the top of the penin­sula on their way to, or from, Green Bay) and more than 50 beaches. You name it, you’ll likely have a chance to do it: sail­ing, golf­ing, fish­ing, cy­cling, swim­ming, camp­ing, hik­ing, horse­back rid­ing, para­sail­ing, sea kayak­ing (the county has hosted the world sea kayak­ing cham­pi­onships nu­mer­ous times) and div­ing (both snor­kel­ing and scuba) are all pop­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties.

For those not so ath­let­i­cally in­clined, there are still more than a few things to do in the area. The county’s quaint villages are filled with stores that sell the wares of the many painters and pot­ters who live in the area – there

are al­most 100 gal­leries and mu­se­ums. There are a num­ber of spec­tac­u­lar cheese shops (and, yes, they could do their own ver­sion of a Monty Python skit with all the va­ri­eties) and wine-tast­ing at a few of the well-stocked wine stores is a pop­u­lar stop. Craft beer fans will find lots of ex­cel­lent pubs and brew­eries to check out, too. July is cherry-pick­ing time in Door County, an­other pop­u­lar ac­tiv­ity around race time.

A must-do ac­tiv­ity is the tra­di­tional Door County Fish Boil. It’s a Scan­di­na­vian tra­di­tion main­tained from the days when the re­gion was renowned for lum­ber­ing and fish­ing rather than tourism. The mix of lo­cally caught white­fish, steaks, onions and pota­toes are all cooked in a large ket­tle over an open wood fire. It all ends with a huge “boil over” that sends smoke and flames high above the spec­ta­tors, let­ting ev­ery­one know that its time to eat.—KM

Un­cred­ited, Courtesy DCT, Clint Thayer

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