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Triathlon, trail run the order of the weekend

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Whether you've been training all winter or you're looking to kick start your fitness for the summer, Family Fun Weekend lets you choose between a short course triathlon and a trail run, or both if you're up to the challenge.

On Saturday the Whistler Triathlon Club is hosting two recreational triathlons, the sixth annual Kids of Steel Race and the third annual Adult Try a Tri. On Sunday is the 18 th annual Whistler Valley Trail Run.

Triathlons

The sport of triathlon has degrees of commitment, from sprint races to Ironman, and even Ultra Ironman races that are double or triple the distance. But at the other end of the spectrum are beginner races like the Kids of Steel and Adult Try a Tri - both made for beginners, casual racers and people warming up for longer races.

The Kids of Steel race is divided into three age categories - 8 to 11, 12 to 15 and 16 to 18. The younger group does a 100 metre pool swim followed by a 4 km bike (on a new, less hilly course in Alpine Meadows), and a 1 km Valley Trail Run. The middle group goes 300 metres in the pool, followed by a 10 km bike on Alta Lake Road and a 3 km run. The oldest kids swim 500 metres - about a third the length of an Olympic distance race - then bike 14 km and run 4 km.

The older racers go first, starting at 8:15 a.m., followed by the 12 to 15 group at 8:30 a.m. and the 8 to 11 group at 8:45 a.m.

The organizers have also done away with the mandatory bike check this year, but are offering free bike checks before the race at registration/package pickup from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, May 22. You can also register online until 5 p.m. on Friday.

There is a second package pickup and bike check, plus body marking, on Saturday morning from 7:15 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. at Meadow Park. Last minute registration is available.

The adult Try a Tri is open to all ages and abilities, 19 and older. It includes a 300 metre pool swim, followed by a 14 km bike on Alta Lake Road and a flat 4 km run. The race gets underway at 9 a.m., after the Kids of Steel.

There should be a good turnout this year for adults, with a beginner tri group in Vancouver using Whistler as an introductory race, and a new package at the Every Woman in the World Conference that includes entry in the Try a Tri.

For more information, rules and regulations, volunteering and online registration visit www.whistlertriclub.ca.

Valley Trail Run

With construction underway at Rebagliati Park, the Whistler Valley Trail Run on May 24 is moving its home base to Spruce Grove Park and changing the route for both the 5 km and 10 km runs.

The race takes place at 9 a.m. and registration is open at the Salomon Store from noon to 4 p.m. in the days prior to the race, and until 8:30 a.m. at Spruce Grove Park on race day. Online registration is also available at www.whistlervalleytrailrun.org.

This year the event is being included in the Sea 2 Sky Trail Running Series, the first event before the fifth annual Comfortably Numb Trail Run on June 27.

The courses are a little tougher at the start with the course changes, and competitors will do a few laps of the ball fields to break up the field before heading into the park.

For parents, the seventh annual Teddy Bear Trot is also returning this year, with kids 10 and under running a short course at Spruce Grove at 10:15 a.m. All participants are invited to bring their teddy bears with them for the jog, and parents can accompany younger trotters around the course.

All proceeds from the Whistler Valley Trail Run go towards the Community Foundation of Whistler's youth fund, and to date roughly $3,000 has been donated from the race.

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