ST. CLOUD -- The 2019 Minnesota Senior Games are in full swing around the St. Cloud metro area.

Friday morning's activities featured the Men's and Women's 10k Cycling - Times Trials on the southeast side of St. Cloud. The event is broken up into 10 distinct age groups, and the top three finishers in each group received medals.

Randy Giles of St. Cloud has been a MN Senior Games cycling event planner in past years when the games have been held in St. Cloud. Now, he's a competitor. He says the cycling is fun, but it's the social aspect of the games that makes them special.

A lot of people see each other from year to year, and they hang out and have fun. The racing is just part of it. The camaraderie and being able to get together is the biggest part of it.

Lori Childers of Avon agrees. She took up the sport with her husband who, while recovering from a broken leg, traded running for biking. She says her three years in the games have introduced her to friends she wouldn't have otherwise met.

There's a lot of people in the group here from Eden Prairie and other cities. We all ride together now on weekends.

Childers took second place in her age group. She'll be competing in the 2019 Wisconsin Senior Games, and says she's actively looking for more Minnesota-based events, too.

I haven't figured out how to find all the races in Minnesota yet, but I've got some hookups now.

The Minnesota Senior Games include over 300 athletes ages 50 and up and will run through Sunday. Next year, the games will be held as the qualifier for the National Senior Games in 2021 in Florida.