Cool, rainy conditions prevailed on Saturday June 11 for the third TR Triathlon. The 36 participants started wet in the swim and stayed wet in the bike and the run. Many preferred cool and wet to the hot and dry of previous years, although caution was needed on road bikes when cornering.
After 24 years of the Ridge Ramble Biathlon (cycling and running), the race was converted to the Tumbler Ridge Triathlon in 2014, with a partnership developing between the TR Community Centre/Aquatic Centre and the Wolverine Nordic and Mountain Society as co-hosts for the event.
Borea Construction came forward in 2016 with much-appreciated, generous sponsorship. It takes a community to put on an event like this, and for every participant there were two volunteers, with great support from service organizations such as the Lions Club, TR Search and Rescue, Junior Rangers and RCMP.
There were Individual and Team events – with a cap of 32 swimmers, Age categories included Junior (18 & under), Open (19 – 39), Master (40-59) and Senior (60+). There were a number of talented out-of-town competitors, including fifteen-year old Tate Haugen from Fort St John, who broke his 2015 record and ended up a minute ahead of Patrick Howell of Dawson Creek.
For others, the challenge was simply to complete their first triathlon, and the distances of 750m swim, 20k bike ride and 5k run were perfect for novice participants. Charissa Tonnesen epitomized this spirit of rising to the challenge with an amazing burst at the finish.
Tumbler Ridge is lucky to have an ideal course for a triathlon, with our well maintained, cleanly swept roads, and a very suitable transition area in the parking lot just outside the pool. The cycle section contains just enough hills to be challenging.
For the organizing committee led by Ann More, being able to host a successful event in adverse weather conditions was immensely satisfying, and seeing the expressions of achievement and satisfaction on the faces of finishers young and old, from near and far, was ample reward.