Wolverine Nordic & Mountain Society and Tumbler Ridge Community Centre
Last year, after 24 years of the Ridge Ramble Biathlon, the Wolverine Nordic & Mountain Society (WNMS) partnered with the Community Centre and changed the format to a sprint triathlon: a 750 m swim, a 20 km bike, and a 5 km run. The initial event attracted 20 participants. In 2015 this number almost doubled, with 39 athletes competing, many of whom came from out of town. This year there were nine teams. A welcome new feature was the number of Borea employees who entered.
This year’s winner shaved over 16 minutes off last year’s top result, with Fort St John youngster Tate Haugan finishing the race in a blistering 1:07:40. This is a record which will prove hard to beat. Michael Dufresne out of Dawson Creek had the second best result, finishing just over ten minutes behind Haugan, with a time of 1:17:54. He was tops in the Men’s Open Category. Charles Helm and Birgit Sharman posted the top individual times for Tumbler Ridge entries.
The weather co-operated. Wet, cold conditions prevailed the day before the race and the day after the race. On race day, however, there was minimal breeze, and the clouds lifted to allow sunshine to brighten the day for the competitors and spectators.
It takes an army of helpers to put on event like this. The small organizing committee from WNMS and Community Centre had wonderful support from many volunteers in marshaling, timing, collating results, etc. The Junior Rangers, 2015 Grad Class, Lions Club, RCMP, TR Search & Rescue, District of Tumbler Ridge all did a great job in helping to put on a class event, and many local businesses donated fantastic door prizes for the participants.
After 26 years, the Biathlon, now morphed into the triathlon, is one of Tumbler Ridge’s longest-standing events. The TR Triathlon now offers a superb pool facility, a suitable transition area just outside, and quiet, safe, well-maintained paved roads. There is just enough elevation change on the bike section to challenge competitors. All in all this seems tailor-made for a perfect sprint triathlon, and indications are that in 2016 the TR Triathlon will max out at around fifty entries and will further enhance its reputation on the northern BC triathlon circuit.