“Everybody had a blast,” said race director Cathy Forner of the “fabulous” Best Body Fitness Sprint which took place Sunday.
This year’s race featured 150 adult participants in sprint triathlon and duathlon events and 60 youngsters in the Kid’s Splash ‘n’ Dash, an increase of about 15 per cent over the previous year.
“We saw the trend when registration opened, we were up significantly,” said Forner. Last year they also held the Alberta Summer Games Zone 4 qualifier in conjunction with this race.
This was the first year the kid’s event was completely filled (that happened about 2-3 weeks before race day) and she had a waiting list of four or five hopeful competitors.
The races are becoming quite popular, she said, with quite a few competitors from both the Edmonton and Calgary areas.
“We’re drawing quite a crowd from all over.”
The triathlon includes a 750 metre swim in the pool, 25.4 km bike ride and 5.2 km run. The duathlon includes a 5.2 km run followed by a 25.4 km bike and 5.2 km run. The Kid’s Splash ‘n’ Dash includes a 25 metre swim in the pool, 600 metre bike ride and 300 metre run.
Of course an event this size doesn’t happen without a large contingent of volunteers. Forner estimated 80-90 people helped during the race. “We had really strong leadership from the Sylvan Lake Triathlon Club,” she said, noting most members chose to volunteer rather than participate in the race. The event is also a fundraiser for the club, with half the proceeds invested back into the next race and the remainder going to support the club.
Forner explained they run an ‘A’ type race which is appreciated by many of the competitors. It’s consider an introduction to tri racing by many athletes who participated for the first time. “Our volunteers used sidewalk chalk to put messages of encouragement on the route.”
“Feedback I’m hearing was that it was a “fabulous first race for many, it was really well organized.”
Great support from the community also helped the club host a top notch event.
“Our sponsors are spectacular,” said Forner. “We get so much support, we couldn’t do it without them.
Each year the club has featured a theme. This year it was Sylvan Lake’s 100th birthday. All of the stuff given to competitors, the ribbons, swim caps, t-shirts, contained the Centennial logo. As well there were two birthday cakes with the logo emblazoned on them. They were cut and served by Mayor Susan Samson (who competed in the race) and Ashton Hillaby.
“It was just a fabulous race day,” Forner concluded.
The top male triathlete from Sylvan Lake was John Christie who placed seventh overall. Travis Clark of Norglenwold was 17th overall; and Bart Dyrland of Sylvan Lake placed 40th.
The top female triathlete from the area was Megan-Joy Rockey at 16th overall; followed by Janis Smith at 19th; Sandi Ducharme at 27th; Megan Souchuk, 31st; Lacey Robley at 43rd; Lori Donovan at 44th; Kimberly Romyn at 46th; Susan Samson at 47th and Lorna Gibson at 48th.