It’s that time of year when a group of newbies make their first foray into the world of triathlon beside a core of regulars who annually target Sunday’s (Aug. 4) Self-Transcendence Triathlon and Duathlon at Elk Lake.
About 400 competitors are expected for the 34th annual running of the event which starts at 7 a.m. when swimmers converge for a mass start on Hamsterly Beach at the north end of Elk Lake.
This year’s duathlon (five-kilometre run, 40 km bike, 10 km run) is the provincial championships and will award all age-class winners with a championship belt buckle from Triathlon B.C. It’s also a qualifier for the 2014 World Duathlon Championships.
Traditionally, the Self Transcendence sprint (750 km swim, 20 km bike and 5 km run) and Olympic distance (1.5 km swim, 40 km bike and 10 km run) triathlons are a stepping stone for many first-time triathletes as well as a warmup for Ironman athletes headed to Whistler later this month.
Because of the warm weather this year, wetsuits, which are a popular item among triathletes, will be decided on as of 6 a.m. on race day. Triathlon B.C. rules dictate that wetsuits can not be worn if the temperature reaches 22 degrees celsius, which is possible but unlikely.
If wetsuits are disallowed, organizers will try to accommodate the competitors. Olympic distance registrants can opt for the sprint distance swim and all registered triathletes can opt for the duathlon.
The post race food, as always, will be prepared by the volunteers of the Finish Line Cafe. The Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team started the race in 1980.