With the Gerick Sports Wasa Triathlon fast approaching, organizers are preparing for the 21st annual instalment of the event, which has morphed from a competition featuring elite athletes to a family-friendly festival atmosphere.
Starting out at 90 serious triathletes many years ago, over 1,000 competitors are now showing up to test their endurance. And it’s not just the adults that come out, but young kids 4-15 years old now make up roughly one-third of the participants, running a special course with shortened distances.
“The event attracts families from all over B.C., Alberta and Northwest USA. The growth in recent years has been led by the number of young triathletes coming with their families,” said Charlie Cooper, the race director with RM Events.
“We are proud to cater for all ages with the first event day being dedicated to support our younger competitors.”
The triathlon kicks off on Saturday, June 14th with the kids portion of the event, which mimics the adult event, complete with drink stations, timing chips and professional race announcer Steve King on the microphone to call in the runners as they cross the finish line, followed by a catered lunch with a free t-shirt.
“We want these young triathletes to love the sport, experience the competition, but above all, it’s about the participation and having a fun weekend with the family.
All of the TriKids receive proper orienteering and the necessary preparation to make it a memorable and fun experience. The kids event is also a qualifier for the B.C. Summer Games in July.
After the kids have their fun, the adults get their chance to strut their stuff the next day on Sunday, with sprint and olympic distances for individuals and relay teams.
Racers start on the shores of Wasa Lake for the swim before hitting Highway 95/93 for most of the bike and wrapping it up with a run throughout the network of Wasa Lions Club trails.
Though the natural beauty of the race setting is a major draw for competitors, the prize money is pretty good as well, added Cooper, with over $4,500 doled out to the top five overall finishers in the men’s and women’s categories.
Registration closes on June 12 and anyone interested can sign up online at www.rmevents.com.