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    Athletes ran into the water for the swimming portion of the inaugural Head For The Hills Patoka Lake Triathlon on Saturday. The event — which featured a 500-yard swim followed by a 12.8-mile bike ride and a 3.1-mile run — drew 143 participants. The triathlong raised more than $8,000 to help support Patoka Lake’s raptor program, which includes caring for an Eastern screech owl and a red-tailed hawk. Ariana van den Akker/The Herald

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    Participants of the Patoka Lake triathlon waded in the water before starting the race Saturday. Ariana van den Akker/The Herald

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    Mac Deshazier of Opelika, Ala., left, and Joseph Hays of Orleans talked before the swimming portion of the Patoka Lake triathlon Saturday. Ariana van den Akker/The Herald

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    Ryan Downes of Jasper ran out of the water after completing the 500-yard swim during the Patoka Lake triathlon Saturday. Ariana van den Akker/The Herald

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    Ben Chisman of Charlestown biked down a hill during the Patoka Lake triathlon Saturday. Ariana van den Akker/The Herald

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    Bryan Jackson of Jeffersonville biked during the Patoka Lake triathlon Saturday. Ariana van den Akker/The Herald

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    Mark Anderson of Indianapolis waved while biking during the Patoka Lake triathlon Saturday. Anderson rode a fixed-gear bike but said he didn't have too much of a problem with the hills. Ariana van den Akker/The Herald

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    Keith Bartley of Jasper ran during the Patoka Lake triathlon Saturday. Ariana van den Akker/The Herald

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    Emma Engelhardt of Indianapolis began the running portion of the Patoka Lake triathlon Saturday. Ariana van den Akker/The Herald

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    Dustin Betz of Schnellville ran the last stretch during the Patoka Lake triathlon Saturday. Betz placed first in the triathlon with a time of 1hour, 7 minutes, 43.9 seconds. Ariana van den Akker/The Herald

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    Tara Eckman of Jasper ran up the road during the Patoka Lake triathlon Saturday. Ariana van den Akker/The Herald

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    L. Bryce Whitson Jr. of Bedford, left, and Brittany Strumbel of Bloomington raced to reach the finish line of the Patoka Lake triathlon Saturday. Ariana van den Akker/The Herald

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    Brian Diggs of Jeffersonville raised his hands as he crossed the finish line of the Patoka Lake triathlon on Saturday. Ariana van den Akker/The Herald