May was officially one of the coldest, wettest and windiest in history for the Lower Mainland, and temperatures have been one to three degrees Celsius cooler than the seasonal average. June hasn't been much better so far.
The result, says race director Peter Hotston, has been slow uptake in registration for the 13 th annual Squamish Triathlon. People aren't riding their bikes as much or swimming in lakes.
"We go to Brohm Lake to train and it's usually quite nice at this time of the year but now 20 minutes is about all you can stand, and that's with a wetsuit and neoprene cap on," he said.
Despite the slow start, Hotston is confident that participation will pick up before the race on Sunday, July 11.
For one thing, the Squamish Triathlon will be a good training opportunity for the upcoming Xterra Canadian Championships off-road triathlon in Whistler. The 37 km road course has more hills since the organizers changed the route four years ago, which is good training for mountain biking. As well, the 10 km running component takes place off-road on trails in the Cheekeye Fan area, one of the few Triathlon B.C.-sanctioned events with an off-road course.
Then there's the popular relay category where teams of up to three athletes can take on the course, splitting the 1,500 metre swim, 37 km bike and 10 km run between athletes. Last year 53 teams took part, accounting for 165 athletes in the race, which is capped at 400 participants.
The cost is $85 for adults, $65 for youth, $156 for a three-person relay or $104 for a two-person relay. If you're already a member of TriBC you can deduct $15 for individual racers and $5 for relay racers.
The race itself gets underway at Alice Lake with the 1,500 metre swim leg. The first transition is just off the beach by the road. Riders will head back down the Alice Lake Road to the highway and across before making four laps of the bike course. The course includes Squamish Valley Road to Government Road, Depot Road to Highway 99 and Highway 99 back to the Squamish Valley Road.
The running course includes two laps of trails in the Cheekeye Fan area, opposite Don Ross Secondary.
"It's a great course for spectators," said Hotston. "If you hang out by the running transition you'll get to the see the cyclists come by four times and the runners come by twice."
The race is also looking for volunteers to help out as marshals, at the transitions and in a variety of other capacities. More information is available on the Squamish Triathlon website.
The race was created as a tribute to local triathlete Bob McIntosh, who was murdered on New Year's Eve of 1997 while breaking up a high school party at a friend's house. McIntosh had represented Canada at two triathlon world championships, in 1995 and 1997. In 1998 the first memorial triathlon was held in his honour.
For more information or registration visit www.squamishtriathlon.org.