Former New Prague man, son take part in Border to Border Triathlon

For people who want to combine fitness, with an intimate view of the Minnesota landscape, the Border to Border Triathlon might be for you. Former New Prague resident Chuck Kartak, his son Zack (who played football for the North Branch Vikings and the Minnesota Gophers), joined a couple of hunting buddies, Dave Schad and Tom Landwehr, and formed Team TOGAAK (Three Old Guys And A Kid). They recently completed the 530-mile race, that traversed the state from Luverne to Crane Lake.

The relay style race took place over four days. The first day included a 220-mile bike ride across the prairie landscape from Luverne, to the more rolling country of St. Cloud. The second day consisted of a 207-mile bike, through the lake country of central Minnesota, and on up to the historic Iron Range at Eveleth. Bikes remained in their racks on day three, when participants donned running shoes, and raced 50 miles from Eveleth to Cook. The fourth day contained a 50-mile canoe leg across Lake Vermillion, and then down the beautiful Vermillion River to Crane Lake in the wilderness of northern Minnesota.

After the brutal, relentless 20-mph headwinds on the first day, the weather was near perfect for the final three days. TOGAAK finished 6th overall, out of 19 teams who were signed up for this endurance race. In addition, the team won a 25-pound (40,000 calorie) Salted Nut Roll for the best float in the parade.

Zack is the grandson of George and RuthAnne Kartak and Berenice Zelenka, all of New Prague.

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