Friday, June 5, 2020

The Doughboy is On! Interview with RD Ryan Wells

Been itching to get back out there?? Here's a super chill but legit way to do so... the Doughboy is on! The Doughboy offers sprint and olympic distances, takes place in rural Beaver, and is a laid back, fun event for all ability levels.

Given its location combined with precautionary measures, the Doughboy still has the green light from local leaders to take place on June 20th. Hope to see you there!

What’s your background with triathlon and the inspiration behind this race?

Some friends got me to try the Spudman a few years ago. Before the race, this guy could tell that I had no idea what I was doing, and he generously gave me all kinds of help and advice. After the race my wife says to me, “you know that guy who was helping you? He won the race.” [later found out it was local legend BJ Christenson] That’s when I learned just how awesome the triathlon community is.

I love to bike, but I’m not a runner, and I’m not really a swimmer either. Last year I did a couple Olympics and St. George 70.3. People I work with were mocking me at St. George with a wheelchair waiting for me.

Some of them said things like “I would love to try this, but I’m scared of open water,” or “I don’t have a fancy bike,” etc… the normal fears people have at first. One of them mentioned they would try a race if they could have some form of assistance in the water, and from there the idea was born… let’s go create our own!

My dad lives in Beaver, and I went fishing with him one day at Minersville reservoir. I thought it was a great venue and approached the county authorities about putting on a race. They were very supportive from the start. Last year was the first year and it was such a fun event.

What makes the Doughboy unique? Who is this race for?

We try to make it as friendly as possible. It’s a really chill, no pressure environment. We put people’s names on their legs, not numbers. In place of orange buoys are inflatable unicorns and flamingos to swim around. Barbecue at the finish line.

Some people go all out, and we want to support fast people as well as beginners. The Doughboy is for anyone who has the right attitude that this race is purely for fun. The first wave of the Olympic and Sprint are more hard core, for people who want to let it rip, get in a hard training session, etc.

The next wave is the “get your feet wet” participants, who are allowed to use whatever they want in terms of flotation devices, fins, etc. if they choose.

local legend BJ Christenson

Other races have been cancelled - how confident are you that yours will take place in two weeks?

We’ve worked closely with Beaver city and county. When covid came out, we were like “ok what do we do?” We were in wait and see mode like everyone else. As of now though, we’re looking good and have the support of all stakeholders.

We’ll be following CDC and the governor’s guidelines. We’ll have hand sanitizer at the start, packet pickup, etc. We won’t have a massive field, but we’ll still stagger the start and otherwise practice social distancing.

We met with officials again this week, and they’re excited. Unless something major happens over the next 1-2 weeks, it’s a go. That said there’s a full money back guarantee of your $30 if it can’t go or you don’t feel comfortable.

A recurring dream triathletes often have is everything going wrong on race morning: forgetting stuff, running out of time, etc. What would you recommend in terms of logistics and timing for people to be ready to go?

Packet pick up is Friday 5-8 at Pioneer Park (450 E 300 N Beaver), but if people communicate with me ahead of time we can arrange for morning of. You’ll need to drop off run stuff at T2, and it’s a 13 mile drive to T1 at the reservoir.

Olympic starts at 8:00, Sprint at 9:00. A lot of people drive out to the lake with a family member or friend, then that person meets them at the finish line. We can coordinate rides in small groups though as needed, hop in the back of a pickup, etc.

At Minersville lake there’s also a campsite if you like that option for the night before.

What can you tell us about the venue and the course?

Minersville is about a mile across and couple miles long – a good open water lake without being too overwhelming. The bike course is a false flat (very slight incline) from the reservoir to Beaver, then a few slight “climbs” but for the most part flat. I’d have my 6 year old ride it.

The run is changing a bit, I need to update the site so stay tuned! The Olympic will have a different loop through town than the sprint.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I’m an accountant by trade, doing something like this is not in my wheelhouse. There are a lot of people who made this a success last year – thank you to the participants and locals in Beaver. Hope to meet more of you soon!

Register here!
Contact Ryan at (385) 350-5811





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