Wetsuits help, but competitors are basically swimming in snowmelt.
Bikers depart the state park for Scofield, Clear Creek or Electric Lake depending on their category.
It is the highest triathlon in the United States, with Scofield Town at 7,739 feet and the Scofield Lake State Park only slightly lower. That's why the Scofield Triathlon annually attacts hundreds of competitors from across the nation. It's the challenge of competing in a three-phase endurance race where the air is rarefied.
This year was no exception, but with an additional challenge. The fresh snowmelt from a heavy and late runoff season was still pouring into the lake on Saturday as swimmers plunged into the frigid water at 8 a.m. to begin the first leg of their long journey.
Depending on the category, the swim through the frigid water was was long (.47 mile), longer (1,500 M, about a mile), or longest (1.75 mile, from the lake island to the boat ramps at Mountain View Campground.
After the swim, they had to pedal either 12.4 miles, 24.8 miles or 37 miles. The 37 mile course is all the way to Electric Lake and back.
The came the run, which was either 3.1 miles, 6.2 miles or 10 miles.
The fastest time for the long-distance Escape from Scofield category this year was posted by Neal Legler, who finished the grueling contest in 3:40:03.