Although the Squamish Triathlon is only in its fifth year, you wouldnt know it by the kind of response organizers are receiving. With more than six weeks to go before the race, the entries are slowly trickling in, but judging by the distance those entries travelled its shaping up to be the biggest year ever for the event.
According to organizer Bob Brant, competitors have already registered from as far away as China, Mexico, England, and the western United States. From Canada, a number of B.C. athletes have already signed up, but there are also entries from as far away as Ontario.
"I think were getting a pretty good reputation as a good event to enter within the triathlon community, where were held in high regard," says Brant. "Were definitely way ahead in registration than where we were at this time last year.
"Its an incredibly scenic course, starting with the swim at Alice Lake, then the ride up the Squamish Valley and back, then the run from Bob Ross Secondary around the Cheekye Fan Trail."
The Squamish Triathlon is also part of the 2002 Provincial Triathlon Race Series sponsored by New Balance, and that draws a lot of competitors who are looking for points to advance in the rankings.
Its a full triathlon, with a 1.5 km swim around the lake, followed by a 40 km bike ride, and finishing with a 10 km run, mostly along wooded trails. The running course will likely be different if the Cheekye Trail is completed before the race.
"I think people prefer running on dirt; its not as hard on the body, and its a pleasant experience to run through the woods," Brant says.
Relay teams of three are welcome, and gaining popularity every year. Squamish Fire Hall No. 1 has challenged Fire Hall No. 2, and other emergency services, including the RCMP, Search and Rescue, and the ambulance service.
"Its a great way to participate in a triathlon if you dont want to do the full race, and a good community spirit and participation thing, too," Brant says.
You can register for the Squamish Triathlon online at www.squamishtriathlon.org, in Squamish at the Marketplace IGA or Sea to Sky Ocean Sports, or in Whistler at Sports Stop.
Volunteers are also welcome to participate. Contact 604-815-0715 for details.