Solid numbers, co-operative weather and plenty of community support contributed to another successful Best Body Fitness (BBF) Sprint Triathlon in Sylvan Lake Sunday.
So much so, in fact, that race director and BBF owner Scott McDermott is calling it the best ever.
“It’s the best race we’ve ever had,” he said. “It was absolutely fantastic.”
With 164 adult athletes competing, the triathlon experienced its biggest participation rate since Sylvan Lake Triathlon Club took over organizing of the event several years ago.
Athletes came from all over the province to compete in the triathlon which includes a 750m swim in the pool, 26km bike ride and 5km run.
More than a dozen took part in the duathlon, consisting of a 5km run followed by a 26km bike and another 5km run.
The event, now in its ninth year, has grown steadily over the past few years, according to McDermott. And he’s excited about the direction it’s heading in the future.
“Next year is our 10th anniversary of the race, so we’re super stoked about that,” he said. “In a world where most triathlons are giving less and less, we’re pushing to give more and more.”
Most of that growth, he added, is made possible by local sponsors and supporters − of which the triathlon was certainly not short this year.
“The local businesses in town have just been absolutely fantastic,” he said. “We had tons of amazing local sponsors that just make all the difference.”
McDermott said the race also had plenty of support from its many volunteers, and from the Town of Sylvan Lake.
A race of another kind also contributed to the day’s success.
The Kids Splash ‘n’ Dash, open to youngsters between the ages of four and 12, raised its registration capacity to 100 participants this year, and was nearly filled.
“For the first couple of years, they capped it at 20 or 30 kids, and then a few years ago we raised the cap to 40,” said McDermott. “Last year, we had the cap at 60, and this year we opened it up to 100, and we had 96 kids in the event.
“It was ridiculously awesome.”
That race consisted of a 25m swim, 500m bike and 200m run.
“It’s just letting the kids have a lot of fun and feel like they’re a triathlete just like mom or dad,” said McDermott, adding not all of the participating children’s parents are triathletes.
“It’s just a fun thing for the kids to do, but it gets them started in the sports.”
Triathlon winners were Brian Hrynkow of Sherwood Park, in the male division, with a time of 1:12:38; Sharon Styles of Carstairs, in the female division, with a time of 1:16:21; and Pullar Express of Edmonton, in the team division, with a time of 1:45:35.
Duathlon winners were Hans Haugen of Camrose, in the male division, with a time of 1:36:32, and Sarah Yaremcio of Edmonton, in the female division, with a time of 1:42:45.
Full results are available online at www.zone4.ca.