Mother Nature cannot keep triathletes down

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Julie Bertrand / Independent Reporter

Despite the cool weather, 53 people showed up at the SRC on Aug. 7 to participate in the second annual Performance Physiotherapy triathlon.

This year, the organizers also put together a kids’ duathlon for the first time.

The event was a success, with an increase of 30 participants from last year.

“One of the highlights of this year’s triathlon was definitely the increase in numbers,” said C.J. Oprea, event organizer.

“It was reflected in the quality of participants. We had some really fast participants this year, which was really good.”

The kids’ duathlon also proved to be a big hit.

“Many of them did really good,” said Oprea. “Hopefully, the duathlon will bring in more participants for next year.”

Of course, it would not have been a major Stettler event without rain joining the party for the first hour.

“This is our second year organizing a triathlon, but it is the fourth or fifth year that Stettler has a triathlon on the same weekend and there has been rain every single year,” said Oprea.

“But it did not stop us or slow anyone down.”

The event’s growing popularity has the organizing committee thinking big for next year.

“We might add an Olympic distance. It sounds bigger than it is. It is the third level of five triathlon levels that you can do,” explained Oprea.

“The kids could go from a duathlon to a Kids of Steel level, depending on numbers and that kind of stuff. We will definitely make it a bigger and better event.”

Just like Performance Physiotherapy did for the kids’ duathlon, the clinic is thinking about offering a training program to attract more participants, even those that are out of shape.

“The try-a-triathlon distance is absolutely perfect for anyone wanting to get into a triathlon, because it is not long, but it is challenging enough to get you that buzz to keep going and doing more,” said Oprea.

The committee also hopes to attract more local participants, as this year’s event only had about 10 Stettler residents.

The small number of local athletes was made up the good numbers of volunteers, without whom the event would not have taken place.

“We had a lot of really good volunteers out on the course. They were monitoring the traffic. That was awesome,” said Oprea.

Winners

Try and tri event:

Male: Kent Barrit, 00:44:55

Female: Melissa Benson, 00:33:07

Sprint distance:

Male: Adam George 1:17:50

Female: Marla Moncrieff 1:22:30

Team sprint winner: Sophie Robinson and Brenda Bigley 1:34:01

Youth sprint winner: Madison Alexander 1:54:58

Kids’ duathlon winners

10 years old and over -Reid Manning

7-9 years old – Leigh Humphrey

Under 7 years old – Declan Sargent