This SundayÕs eighth annual Squamish Triathlon has been sold out for weeks, with 368 individuals and 46 relay teams of three taking part.
The course is similar to past years, starting with the 1,500 metre swim in Alice Lake Provincial Park, followed by the 40 km bike up and back on Squamish Valley Road. The 10 km run will be slightly different this year, with almost the full course on trails surrounding Don Ross Secondary.
Because of the course, some road closures and delays will once again be necessary.
At Alice Lake Provincial Park there will be limited access to the public beach from 7 a.m. until 11 a.m., and the vehicles will not be able to enter or exit the park from approximately 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., to allow the cyclists to go through.
Highway 99 will be closed to both north and southbound traffic from approximately 9:20 a.m. to 9:40 a.m., followed by intermittent delays from approximately 9:40 a.m. to 10:10 a.m.
Squamish Valley Road and Upper Squamish Valley Road will have limited access from approximately 9:20 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.
Government Road, from Axen Road to Squamish Valley Road, will be closed to all traffic from approximately 10:25 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Ross Road, near the secondary school, will have very limited access from about 10:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Depot Road, from the railway crossing to Highway 99, will be open but drivers are advised that there will be runners on the road from approximately 10:20 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.
The first wave of swimmers, Men 39 and Under, will enter Alice Lake at 9 a.m. The MenÕs and WomenÕs 40 and Over group will hit the water two minutes later, followed by the WomenÕs 39 and Under group two minutes after that. The relay teams will enter the water last at approximately 9:06 a.m.
Racers and spectators are advised that there is no parking and no dogs are allowed at Alice Lake Provincial Park. You can park at Don Ross Secondary and take free shuttles to the lake Ð preference will be given to competitors. Competitors can also ride the 3 km distance to the lake and the first transition area. The other transition area, between the bike to the run, is at the school.
The race was created eight years ago as a memorial to Bob McIntosh, a Squamish triathlete who was murdered on New YearÕs Eve of 1997.
The Squamish Triathlon: A Memorial to Bob McIntosh was launched the following July, and has since become part of the provincial triathlon series.
It was also one of the first races in the province to really promote the relay category in the hopes of involving more people. That approach paid off in 2003 when the event sold out for the first time.
"(The Relay) has worked out really well," said race director Peter Hotston. "We had a few aims when we started this eight years ago. One was to create something in BobÕs memory, and he was a great triathlete and a really good athlete, so the race was the obvious way to go.
"The other aim was to get people involved because Bob himself was a role model for so many people, and liked to encourage people to be active and to take part in events like this one. ThereÕs a few young people out there today who got their start because of Bob and all the work he did with youth.
"ThatÕs why weÕve always pushed the relay category. ItÕs just a great way to get people involved who wouldnÕt otherwise think of doing a full triathlon. What weÕre finding is that people will do the relay for a year or two, then decide to try one on their own. I know Bob would be thrilled to see that."
Proceeds from the event go towards a scholarship program for Squamish students who show potential in academics, athletics and citizenship, as well as towards the creation and maintenance of the Cheekye Fan Trail.
For more information visit www.squamishtriathlon.org.