True North Trifest Triathlon has been cancelled for 2021 (File Photo)

True North Trifest Triathlon has been cancelled for 2021 (File Photo)

True North Trifest cancelled for 2021 devastates race directors and athletes

Due to construction and traffic congestion the True North Trifest Triathlon has been cancelled

The True North Trifest for 2021 has been cancelled due to construction and traffic congestion in Sylvan Lake.

One of the Race Directors Richelle Love said in a letter that she is devastated.

“As race directors, this is not only our livelihood but what we live for doing. I don’t know if I can describe the emotions and feelings when the gun goes off and all of our athletes are in the water. Or the smiles when the first athlete hits land. Or when that last athlete is off the bike. It fills our souls. It is so much more than a job. Race directing is what makes us happy.”

The race directors aren’t the only ones upset, so are the competitors including Scott McDermott.

“It feels really rotten, a betrayal. Months and months of training, many of us pay for coaches and sacrifice work and family time to prepare and the goal post just evaporated,” said McDermott.

McDermott also feels terrible for the race directors.

“The town only gave three weeks notice which is really bad, especially when you consider it is being run and hosted by a triathlon store that has been devastated in the past year. Cancelled over construction, which was known about for months”

With many businesses struggling to stay open McDermott wonders how the triathlon store is.

“How does a triathlon store stay open when all the races for the past 16 months have been cancelled, including all the swim coaching, bike and run sessions and camps.”

However there are other events still happening this year including one McDermott has also been accepted into called the Ultraman World Championships taking place at the end of November in Kona Hawaii.

“I am lucky, I know of lots of athletes that have had race after race after race canceled and most with no refunds, or a deferral to another city or time that doesn’t work.”

Age is also a problem since an athlete only has so many race seasons in them, said McDermott.

“For me I just keep training, like I did last year, but it sucks. I am not getting younger waiting for this to all calm down.”

The cancellation of this race doesn’t just impact the sports community, said McDermott.

“This means a loss of hundreds of athletes coming to Sylvan Lake that would see what a great town this is. As a former Race Director for this event and ones like it, I know of people who came here for the race,loved the town and moved here, or bought property here.”

The athletes also support hotels, grocery stores, and restaurants during their stay in the city, said McDermott.

“When a race is held in a town like this, people come through the spring and summer to train the course, which means more visitors.”

The race directors thanked the people who wanted to participate this year and one of the options they gave was to join the True North Trifest in July of 2022.

“We cannot thank you enough for all of your love and support as we try to bring the biggest and best event to Alberta. Our vision has always been a full weekend in the tourist capital of Alberta of racing and community. We are beyond gutted that this race we have poured our hearts and souls into making happen will not be happening this year,” said Love.