Every September, Frankfort’s Bestie Bay welcomes athletes and healthy lifestyle advocates competing in the Tri Up North Triathlon. This year’s race is September 15.

Hosted by the Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, the goal of the triathlon is to improve the health and wellness of people in the community. And with two options—a 10-mile event for beginners and a 22-mile event for experienced athletes—plus a new non-timed 2.5-mile walking option this year, the Tri Up North triathlon is for all ages. “You don’t have to be a pro athlete. It’s for the amateur athlete also,” says Event Coordinator Diane Miller. “The average age for a participant is in their 50s.”

The western shore of Lake Michigan is the perfect setting for the paddle, bike, and run event, which allows people to “engage in a healthy lifestyle and enjoy our beautiful area,” Diane says. This will be the fourth year the Tri Up North triathlon has been held in Frankfort, right at the edge of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

The Tri Up North Triathlon founders, Bill Kennis and Andrew Johnson, recognized their objective of supporting Benzie County community health and wellness matched well with Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital Auxiliary’s mission. Therefore, funds raised for the 2018 Tri Up North Triathlon will benefit Betsie Hosick Health & Fitness Center programs in Frankfort.

While in the past the Auxiliary has raised funds for physical hospital assets—digitizing radiology machines, for example—Diane says this is a great new opportunity for them to support community wellness.

“The Betsie Hosick Health & Fitness Center programs encompass the community,” says Diane, as she describes four of the programs which triathlon events are supporting. Senior Movement and Balance helps elderly patients improve stability; Active Steps is a 10-week exercise and nutrition class; The Journey Program empowers cancer patients to improve their quality of life through exercise; and Youth Injury Prevention helps with concussion testing and athletic training at local schools.

With both the Betsie Hosick Health & Fitness Center programs and the Tri Up North Triathlon events, “we’re trying to promote healthy choices and living a healthy lifestyle,” Diane says.

For more information about the Tri Up North Triathlon courses, sponsors, or online registration, please visit tri-upnorth.com.

Written by Courtney Jerome.

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Photo(s) by Tri Up North Triathlon