Sylvan Lake will once again be home to a triathlon in 2018.
Over the years the town has played host to different variations of races, including a half-ironman race back in 2012. To resurrect the tradition, the Sylvan Lake Triathlon Club enlisted the help of Cathy Forner, who will serve as Race Director for the big event.
“It’s been a couple years. We’ve had lots of people come in and run different triathlons. They’ve been all non-locals. Now we’ve decided we’re going it give it a shot ourselves,” said Forner.
“Everybody is excited to see a triathlon come back to town and run locally for locals.”
The event, tabbed Multi-Sport at the Lake is set for Aug. 4 and is aiming to capture a wide range of athletes.
It will feature eight competitions including a sprint and standard triathlon, along with two duathlon distances, AquaBike (swim and bike) and a couple unique relays.
They will have a Family Fun Mixed Relay and an Age Group Mixed Relay, the latter of which could be an Olympic sport in the coming years. The Mixed Tag Team Relay features a team of two male and two female participants, who each complete a short (300m swim, 8km bike, 2km run) triathlon.
“This is designed for people that don’t want to spend their entire life training but have always wanted to try something. There are lots of people out there,” Forner said.
In the family relay, the two adults swim (50m), bike (600m), run (4oom) and the two kids each swim (25m), bike (300m) and run (200m).
On top of all that, in each duathlon distance and the standard AquaBike race, a world qualifying spot for Spain 2019 will be available for the top male and female on the day. Race organizers are hoping this attracts athletes from all across Western Canada.
“The world qualifying spots were still available in Alberta and we were approached to see if we would be interested in running the world qualifiers and we thought, let’s do it,” Forner noted.
“We’re hoping to draw people into those two sports.”
Overall, they hope to bring in close to 200 competitors across all eight events.
Another unique factor that sets Sylvan Lake apart from some races in the province, is the open water swim.
A major drive for the SLTC is participation in sport and giving back to the community. They’ve partnered with JumpStart and KidSport and will donate proceeds from the race. They also hope to spark interest in the sport, something that usually comes from people who watch or help out at races.
“We’re going to do our best to give back to the community,” Forner said.
“You have to have a triathlon to motivate people to want to be in a triathlon club… after people see it, (they ask) ‘how do I get involved? That looks really run, I think I could do that’. There is a motivation that goes with actually seeing a triathlon.”
Forner added they’re currently looking for volunteers, sponsors and more participants. Individuals interested should check out www.multisport.atthelake.ca.