“We wanted to give the community something fun to do on a Saturday morning that was healthy and could be competitive or just for fun.”

Twenty-one participants took to the water, the wheel and the Ruger Park walking path to participate in the third-annual Devils Lake Fun Run Try-athlon, hosted by Devils Lake High School Honor Society and aided by the Dosch Pool.

The Try-athlon (“Just give it a TRY!”) was created by David Kerlin, Dosch pool manager and DLHS social studies teacher; Lisa Holding, DLHS English teacher and honor society advisor; and Curt Kukert, DLHS English teacher and coach.


“We wanted to give the community something fun to do on a Saturday morning that was healthy and could be competitive or just for fun,” Kukert stated. “It’s so easy! Grab a swimmer, grab a runner, get on a bike and, hey, you got a team! Just give it a ‘try’!”

When asked about the spelling, Kukert replied, “Lisa and I are ‘punners’ and to encourage all levels of entrants, not just the endurance athletes, we played with the ‘tri’ in triathlon to encourage everyone to just give it a try.”

This year’s event was the smallest of the three years, with the focus more on family and smaller children than on adults.

The try-athlon events offered this year were: men’s, women’s and 12 and under individual events along with family and team relays. Last year saw an increase with a focus on family and that continued this year as well.

“It’s too bad more kids weren’t able to take part [this year]. This is such a neat event,” Brandi Nelson said, whose son, Weston, competed in the 12 and under category.

“We usually have several competing in the adult individual and relay events, but this year those were eclipsed by the family teams and individual kid event,” Kerlin explained.

“We have so much fun each year; we will do this every year! The boys love doing this, and it’s great being able to do this as a family,” Mary Lundy, three year family-team participant, exclaimed.

Out-of-state participants were a part of this summer’s event also. When asked what part of the family relay he was most looking forward to, Cooper Knudson of Colorado exclaimed, “All of it!”

“Before we left [the house] this morning, Cooper told the family ‘We are going to have so much fun,’” Knudson’s Aunt, Megan McCann-Engberg, Spanish teacher for DLHS, added.

When asked which part was her favorite, Engberg’s daughter, Ainsleigh, responded with, “Swimming!”

The Engberg family team invited Ainsleigh’s best friend Collins Halverson and her mother Monica to join on a family relay. Monica Halverson indicated she was happy the Engbergs talked them into taking part, “because it was so much fun.”

“Good-natured fun, family-bonding and a healthy activity on a beautiful summer day was enjoyed by those competing and watching; it couldn’t have happened without our volunteers and sponsors!” Holding mentioned. “Devils Lake is so lucky to have such supportive business people!”