Athletes gear up for Wasa Triathlon

Olympic Champion Catriona Le May Doan will make her triathlon debut in the sprint event

Athletes are getting ready as they hone in on their swimming, running and cycling skills to gear up for the Gerick Sports Wasa Lake Triathlon.

From June 8-9 at Wasa Park, athletes will compete in the annual event that hosts races for everyone.

“It’s a great family type weekend because we do get a lot of people who come in, and Wasa is a great place to host with the Fort Steele campground, and the options for people to stay in Kimberley or Cranbrook,” said Barb Fode, co-organizer, Wasa Triathlon.

The event will kick off on the first day with the TriKids Triathlon with six separate races for the various age categories.

On June 9, the event closes out with the adults where there are a sprint, standard and relay team races.

“The biggest thing with triathlon is that everybody is going out there to do their own individual race,” said Fode.

“It’s an event you can go out and personally challenge yourself and you don’t have to be a pro-triathlete or someone on the podium, a lot of people get personal satisfaction accomplishing the triathlon as a personal challenge. It’s not easy to do three different sports for one event.”

It is estimated that more than 800 racers will take part in the triathlon.

“The last couple years it has been a little bit lower, because we had winter last a little longer, so we are hoping this year with the earlier spring that numbers will pick up,” said Fode.

Racers from Alberta, Montana, Idaho and from across the province all take part in the event.

“We are a great early spring event, which gets a lot of people prepared for larger events later on in the season,” said Fode.

The race has even caught the eye of two times Olympic Champion Catriona Le May Doan. The Saskatoon native won the 500-meter title in speed skating at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano and again at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

She will be making her triathlon debut at Wasa, as she attends with family and friends.

“We are pretty happy she has chosen Wasa to be her first event,” said Fode.

“She’s coming out to do it as a casual thing with her family and a few friends. It’s exciting that she has chosen Wasa to come out and debut herself in triathlon.”

The triathlon has grown since its inception, as organizers have been able to adapt to the growing numbers.

“We have changed the race course a couple of times, we used to go towards Skookumchuck for the bikes, now we go towards Fort Steele, so there have been some changes. The last couple of years we have run a Super Sprint event, but this year we are not hosting the Super Sprint because it didn’t draw as many numbers in,” explained Fode.

They are always looking for volunteers as it takes nearly 250 to 300 to put on the event throughout the weekend.

“We have had a lot of great support for our event,” added Fode.

To sign up for the triathlon, or to be a volunteer people can visit their website here.

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