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A paddler transitions to the biking event during the 10th annual Taming of the Slough Adventure Triathlon in 2015 in Hampton.

Mountain bikers, paddlers, and runners rejoice.

The 12th annual Taming of the Slough, a triathlon that caters to the outdoorsy adventurer, is set for Saturday, Sept. 16, at Empire Park on the border of East Moline and Hampton.

In lieu of swimming, which traditional triathlons incorporate into the action, Taming of the Slough competitors first will paddle 3.8 miles around Campbell's Island on the Mississippi River. They then will bike 8.3 miles through Illiniwek Forest Preserve before finishing with a 2-mile run along a paved and off-road path.

Kathy Wine, executive director of River Action, the Davenport-based nonprofit organization that runs the event, said it highlights the "unique" urban setting in the Quad-Cities.

"We have wonderful resources to celebrate, and I think people who come here really appreciate it," said Wine, who expects around 150-200 registrants.

Participants may compete individually or team up with one or two friends to race as a two- or three-person team.

Each member of a two-person team must complete all legs of the race; each member of a three-person relay team will complete just one leg of the race.

Businesses may sign up a three-person relay team to compete in the corporate challenge. The winning squad will take home the traveling trophy, which they will keep until next year's event.

Those hoping to test out the course beforehand may attend practice from 5:30-7 p.m. on Fridays, Sept. 1 and Sept. 8.

River Action will have kayaks on site provided by the Saukenuk Paddlers Canoe and Kayak Club. Racers should call 563-322-2969 to reserve kayaks ahead of time.

Friends of Off-Road Cycling, or FORC, have placed signs throughout Illiniwek Forest Preserve to guide mountain bikers through the single-track course.

The inaugural Taming of the Slough was held in 2006 on and around Sylvan Island near the Rock Island/Moline border. After the bridge to the island closed in the spring of 2013, River Action moved the event to Empire Park.

A crew is installing a new bridge this fall that will reopen the island to pedestrians and recreational opportunities.

If all goes according to plan, Taming of the Slough organizers said they are planning to host next year's triathlon where it all began.


Jack Cullen covers health, wellness and outdoor recreation for the Quad-City Times.