Saturday marks the 22nd year of The Wolfman Triathlon, a unique off road triathlon which highlights the rugged and beautiful terrain of the eastern part of Langlade County in and around the upper Wolf River.
Racers begin at 8 a.m. in kayaks/canoes on a very rocky 3-mile class II whitewater section of the Wolf River north of Langlade. This downriver canoe and kayak leg ends at the Department of Natural Resources landing in Langlade near the junction of Highways 55 and 64.
Racers then pull their boats ashore and sprint to the bike racks for a 14-mile mountain biking portion of the race. After a short ride east on Highway 64, the course enters the Nicolet National Forest and the area’s extensive network of challenging technical single-track mountain bike trails.
The course eventually exits the National Forest, crosses Highway 55 south of Langlade near the Bear Paw Adventure Resort, and continues on a more purpose-built trail culminating with a river crossing (which in high water can be an amusing spectator sport) near the end of the mountain biking course.
The last leg of the race is a 3-3/4 mile rugged trail run along the scenic Wolf River.
More than 350 athletes from Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Utah and Wisconsin are all vying for the top spot.
The races will be followed by an awards presentation, pig roast, and entertainment provided by Brothers Burn Mountain. Extra wristbands for food and drink will be for sale the day of the event.
Although it is a day of celebration, there will also be a tribute to one of the triathlon’s organizers, Michelle Koss, who was killed on her bicycle this last spring. T-shirts will be sold in her honor and all proceeds will be donated to the building of Michelle’s Lodge on the Moccasin trail system near Elcho..
The Wolfman collaborates with many local organizations; more than 120 people volunteers from the Antigo Boy Scouts, Elcho Cross-Country Ski Club, Antigo Swim Club, Antigo Bike & Ski Club, White Lake Historical Society, Troutland Rescue, Antigo High School girls varsity swim team, Boys & Girls Club of Langlade County, Elcho High School, Langlade Area Mountain Bike Association (LAMBA), Lakeland Area Mountain Bike Organization (LAMBO), and the Wisconsin Bike Patrol.
The event was started to showcase the beauty of the Wolf River area. Because of its popularity, it bolsters the local economy and has brought people to the area all summer in hopes of getting a leg up on the competition by running the course a few times before race day.
A spectator rings a cowbell, a traditional sign of encouragement,
near the Highway 55 landing as a kayaker completes
the first portion of the Wolfman Triathlon in 2015.