For the third straight year, the Riding Mountain Triathlon will have more than 500 participants, which has director Ellis Crowston ecstatic.
The 29th annual event, which starts this morning at Riding Mountain National Park, has Olympic distance, sprint and try-a-tri events, and the registration numbers show just how the popularity of the activity and this event is growing.
“For a triathlon event in Manitoba or Saskatchewan to draw those numbers as consistently as we have is really an accomplishment,” Crowston said. “It’s an accomplishment that says a lot about the park and the course that we have because it’s what draws people to this race. It’s such a gorgeous venue.
“It’s interesting because we’re drawing a clientele or athletes who aren’t going to a lot of other races in the two provinces and they’ve chosen this one and it’s because of the park.”
Crowston believes part of the triathlon’s recent success is due to people putting it on their bucket lists and wanting to cross it off. It also gives them a sense of accomplishment that they will carry for years.
Those who are participating today should enjoy ideal conditions with a partly cloudy day and a high of 25 C. The course is also in pretty good shape with park staff working with the organizing committee to improve the roads.
The Olympic triathlon kicks off the day at 9 a.m., followed by the other events, and Crowston can’t wait for the day to begin.
“This is the point in time where it’s just let’s get it started,” he said. “We’ve done everything other than welcome the athletes. Now it’s just a waiting game for the start of the first event.”