Nate Musolff and Dan Smith didn’t win the 2012 Wolfman Triathlon—didn’t even come close—but they may have had the most fun.
Despite being a shade shy of podium material, Musolff, who serves as captain with the Antigo Police Department, and Smith, a special education instructor at Antigo High School, had their photographs snapped dozens of times as they brought their own sort of equipment to the event, which typically draws serious and very fit competitors from across the Midwest for a day of whitewater kayaking, single-track cycling and wilderness running.
Competing in the tandem division, Musolff and Smith cobbled together a canoe that had seen far better days, added some accouterments such as a bilge pump and inner tube for additional flotation, and a spray-painted “call 9-1-1” on the boat’s underside, and headed down the river, wearing flannel and denim rather than Lycra.
It was all great fun—all that was missing was the banjo—and they safely finished the course and continued through the cycling and running.
“We really needed the bilge pump,” Musolff said as the two hauled their behemoth of a boat out of the river and prepared for cycling. “We sprang a leak about halfway through the course.”
Their final time was 3 hours, 23 minutes for the three-mile whitewater trip, 13-mile single track bike course and 3 1/2 wilderness run.
“We had some equipment trouble,” Musolff admitted.
Honors as the 2012 Wolfman and Wolfwoman went to Ryan Baumann of Green Bay, with a final time of 1:45:57; and Meghan Sarna of Marquette, 2:03:31.
“It was a beautiful day for a race,” organizer Jamee Peters said at the post-race pig roast. “We’re really proud of how it has progressed over the last 18 years.”
Division results include:
Male 15-19: First Place: Chris Murphy.
Male 20-29: First Place: Ben Neubauer; 2nd Place: Eric Doro; 3rd Place: Ben Schimmelpfenning.
Male 30-39: First Place: Ryan Zimny; 2nd Place: Brian Grieves: 3rd Place: Josh Zalewski.
Male 40-49: First place: Bill Selbig; 2nd place: Terry Chier; 3rd Place: Mike Newcomer
Male 50-59: 1st Place: Blake Schlaeppi; 2nd Place: Dave Gamm; 3rd Place: Chuck Geswein
Male 60-69; 1st Place: Jeff Loss; 2nd Place: Scott Stalheim; 3rd Place: Larry Bruss
Tandem Mixed: 1st: David Andresen/Kierstin Andresen.
Race entries are capped at 350 and the slots are filled shortly after opening very early in the year. There are always a few dropouts and disqualifications so the actual event drew about 250 participants.
Local competitors, as listed on the start sheet, included:
Jamee Peters, White Lake; Chris Berry, White Lake; Lloyd Larson, White Lake; Michelle Koss, Bryant; Dave Tlusty, Deerbrook; Kyle Tlusty, Deerbrook; Chris Fredericks, White Lake; Dallas Moe, Antigo; Chad Harger, Deerbrook;
Jim Eisenman, White Lake; Josh Zalewski, Antigo; Nate Heuss, Antigo; Colin Koss, Bryant; Beth Wagner, Pelican Lake; Joel DeNamur, Elcho; Eric Roller, Antigo; Becky Wegner, Gleason; Nate Musolff, Antigo; Dan Smith, Gleason; Fred Smith, Antigo; Wayne Paff, Antigo; Mike Brown, White Lake; Kezia Zalewski, Antigo;
The race is a boon to the Wolf River Territory and also to the volunteer organizations who received stipends in return for manning the various stations. Groups involved this year included Wisconsin Off-Road Biking Association; White Lake Historical Society; Gardner Dam Scout Camp, Bay Lakes Council, BSA; Antigo Swim Club; White Lake Boy Scout Troop 1047; Elcho X-C Ski Club and Antigo Boy Scout Troop 644.