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Smoke headlines triathlon weekend in Okanagan Valley

Races cancelled over the weekend in Kelowna and Penticton

With all the excitement for the Super League Triathlon – Penticton, Kelowna Apple Triathlon and the Canadian National Triathlon Championships this weekend, all the races got smoked out.

First, on Saturday the Apple Triathlon and Canadian National Championships were cancelled, followed by day two of Super League Triathlon for the professional men and women. The age group triathletes were able to race in Penticton in the morning, completing day two of the race (the Equalizer). Race organizers in Kelowna decided to reschedule races on Sunday to allow for age group and elite/junior triathletes to compete. While the plan in Penticton was to move onto stage three and allocate points for stage two based on stage one results.

However, due to the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) rated at 10+ in the both Penticton and Kelowna (which is considered very high risk) all races were cancelled on Sunday.

“To say we are disappointed is a huge understatement,” said Susie Ernsting, Race Director for Apple Triathlon. “This weekend of racing was a culmination of months of hard work from the dedicated volunteers, Board of Directors, and hard-working athletes. We were so excited to have the Apple return to Kelowna, and it is beyond devastating that we are unable to do any races. We hope to regroup for 2019 and appreciate the triathlon community’s understanding these circumstances are outside of our control.”

With the province of British Columbia in a state of emergency as a result of more than 560 active forest fires, AQHI levels skyrocketed to a 10+ rating (very high risk) on Friday evening and remained high throughout the weekend.

Next up for Canada’s elite ITU racers will be WTS Montreal, August 25-26th.