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TRIFEST for MS – Go Ahead and TRI!


Have you always wanted to complete a triathlon? Do you find the idea of actually competing in one daunting? Now is your opportunity! TRIFEST for MS will be held in Bentonville on Labor Day weekend, Sept. 5-6th, 2015.

TRIFEST for MS offers racing options for everyone while raising support for Multiple Sclerosis through the Rampy MS Research Foundation. Adults who want to dip their toes into their first triathlon, and let’s be honest, that’s most of us, can choose the Super Sprint Tri – a 200 yard swim, 6 mile bike ride and 1.1 mile run.

Last year, Deana Horn ran the Super Sprint Tri for the first time. She loved the energetic atmosphere surrounding TRIFEST for MS. “You will probably come back every year. It’s infectious,” Deana says. True to her own words, Deana is returning to TRIFEST this year and competing in the TRIFESTA, three races in two days.


The Sprint Triathlon offers a little more of a challenge with a 500 meter swim, 15 mile bike ride and a 5K run. Does that sound intimidating? TRIFEST for MS is located at Melvin Ford Pool and Memorial Park in Bentonville. The pool swim and the flat bike and run routes around the park and surrounding neighborhoods make TRIFEST one of the easiest courses around and perfect for beginners. It’s also a Para-Tri course, allowing athletes with a physical disability to participate.

Deana’s friend and fellow triathlete Becky Petrie will compete in the Para-Tri division. Her mother had MS and now Becky lives with MS, along with 2.3 million others worldwide. Becky completed her first TRIFEST in 2012. “I didn’t know anything about triathlons. I felt like I needed to do it.” This year Becky’s entire family will participate in various races.


TRIFEST for MS is a great event for families, with seven different races over the course of the weekend, including two designated kids’ races and a 5K Fun Run for those not quite ready for their first triathlon. Not convinced yet? You can also grab a friend or two and do a relay triathlon, or even compete as a corporate team.

Training groups have begun around Northwest Arkansas  if you would like a little extra help before jumping into the racing scene. Registration is now open and you can find detailed race information, register for training, and more about TRIFEST for MS here.

If you’re interested in supporting the event, but you don’t want to compete, you can volunteer at TRIFEST or partner with the Rampy MS Research Foundation to raise money for research for MS, the ultimate goal of TRIFEST.

“For me,” Becky says of TRIFEST, “it has extra significance because, hopefully, they’ll find a cure for my disease.” In the end, that’s what TRIFEST is all about.

Deana’s enthusiasm and Becky’s tenacity have convinced me to sign up for the Super Sprint Tri as my first triathlon, but with so many options at TRIFEST, it’s easy to find a way to join in the fun.

So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and TRI!


Photos are used with permission from Deana Horn and Becky Petrie.

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Kimberly S. Mitchell loves journeys, real or imagined. She has hiked the Inca Trail, walked into Panama on a rickety wooden bridge and once missed the last train of the night in Paris and walked several miles home (with friends). She believes magic can be found in life and books, loves to watch the stars appear, and still dreams of backpacking the world. Now she writes adventures to send her characters on journeys, too. Pen & Quin: International Agents of Intrigue - The Mystery of the Painted Book is her debut novel. Find out more at KSMitchell.com.

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