Charissa Abel conquered a big, long-held goal last year—completing a 100-mile bike ride, or what’s known as a century ride. “I love to show my kids that anything is possible if you set your mind to it,” says Charissa, a Muskegon area runner.

Charissa first shared this with me, and with the MRG community, late last summer, when I announced a race entry giveaway for the Boyne City Triathlon held over Labor Day weekend in Boyne City, Mich. She ended up winning that free entry—and totally crushed it on race day.

Charissa Abel and her kids at the 2016 Boyne City Triathlon.

This year’s Boyne City Triathlon is set for Sunday, September 3, and thanks to MRG’s partnership with race organizers, I’ve got another free entry to give away. {Details on how to enter this giveaway at the end of this post} 

The big news coming out of this year’s event, now in its fifth year, is the return of 4-time Olympian Hunter Kemper, who inspired last year’s participants with a pre-race talk. He also handed out race medals at the finish.

Hunter Kemper / photo courtesy Hunter Kemper

“Rob Swartz, who started the Boyne City Tri, puts on one of the best triathlons in the state of Michigan, if not the midwest,” Hunter says. “He genuinely cares about giving his registrants an event experience they will tell others about. I know this because I’ve competed in a lot of triathlons—I’ve been doing triathlons since age 10 … What I like most about the Boyne City Tri is that Rob thinks about all the little details—plenty of volunteers and course support, providing coupons to grab a bite at the food trucks with vegan and gluten-free options, large gift certificate prizes to the top age groupers, top-notch swag, and cool finisher medals.

Photo courtesy Boyne City Triathlon


The best thing about the Boyne City Triathlon, Hunter adds, is that all the proceeds go to support neurological disease research through Team Lucky Seven. So far Team Lucky Seven has raised over $16,000 for research into ALS, Alzheimer’s, and MS. {Listen to the MRG podcast episode featuring a conversation with race director Rob Swartz, whose own personal health journey living with a rare brain disease is incredibly inspiring and led to the creation of Team Lucky Seven}

If you’ve been considering giving triathlons a go—as many of you know, I completed my first one last summer and I plan to do more—the Boyne City Triathlon is a great choice. Michigan Runner Girl Abigail Prout, a strong woman I got to know at my first triathlon, Tri Goddess Tri, participated in last year’s Boyne City Triathlon and shared this about the experience: “It’s small race and I finished…wait for it: Dead Last and 3rd place in my age group. Surprisingly, I was pretty happy. To actually get an age group award (being dead last) is kind of funny, but still…I showed up. And I didn’t quit. It was my 4th triathlon of the year: one sprint, 2 Olympic & a 70.3.”

Abigail Prout with Olympian Hunter Kemper at the 2016 Boyne City Triathlon.

Abigail describes the course as hilly. “It was hard … It’s a small race, but very well run and it’s a beautiful course. The water was absolutely perfect.”

There are plenty of options for race distances, too: both sprint and Olympic distances for individuals, as well as for relay teams. In addition, there are duathlon options (run and biking only, both individual and team) if you’re not quite ready for the swim portion of a multi-disciplined race event.

Boyne City is a quaint town on beautiful Lake Charlevoix—a perfect spot for your Labor Day weekend. Learn more about this race here » 
Giveaway Details: MRG has one (1) free race entry to give away to a reader. To enter this giveaway, please comment below. Share why you’d like to take part in the fifth annual Boyne City Triathlon. A winner will be announced here on the blog early next week. The giveaway starts today, Friday, July 7 and ends Monday, July 10. Good luck, everyone!

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