The second annual Elk Lake Triathlon, Duathlon and Aquabike will take place this weekend on Sunday, starting from Hamsterly Beach at Elk Lake. The event has maintained the date of the previous annual event held the August long weekend, the Self Transcendence Triathlon. This year’s event will see the 39th year that a race has been held on the August long weekend at Elk Lake. The event will host over 400 athletes from across British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Newfoundland and as far away as New Jersey, Virginia and Australian coming to race in Victoria. The event has grown from 2017 numbers with a 20% increase in athletes.
Presented by the local retailer and community supporter, Liquor Plus, the race has a $2,500 prize purse for the top three male and female finishers. Top contenders this weekend include Jeff Symonds, James Cook and Stephen Kilshaw of Victoria. Symonds is coming off a second place at IRONMAN Canada last weekend. While Kilshaw is coming off a tough day in Whistler, where his day was ended prematurely with a bike mechanical, while Cook was a guide for visually impaired athlete Jon Dunkerley, who took bronze at the World Paratriathlon Series event in Edmonton last weekend. The field will also see Brentwood Bay resident Robert Johnson battle Dusty Spiller and up and coming Junior phenom Michael Millic. The pre-race favourite on the woman’s side is Sonja Futehally of Victoria.
“It is very special to be involved with this race and keeping the race tradition alive over the August long weekend, as this venue is loved by triathletes and their families alike. We have a number of athletes that have raced here for 20+ years and still come out and support the event. With IRONMAN Canada in Whistler last weekend we have seen an increase in athletes from farther away making this event and Victoria part of their travel plans and deciding to make this race part of their itinerary. It has been a pleasure working with the community to hold a first-rate event. “said Race Director, Joe Dixon.
Once again, the event will feature a Duathlon event which sold out this year. “The Duathlon numbers are very encouraging as we have a 50% increase in our numbers from 2017”.
The bike course of the event will have athletes leave Hamsterly beach and ride out Old West Saanich Road to the Sprint turnaround at Verdier Ave. The Standard distance will continue on out towards the airport, turning around at Widgeon Dr. to return to transition to start their run.
The run course is an out and back course just past the Rowing Centre for Sprint distance athletes and a counterclockwise 10 km loop of Elk Lake for the Standard course. The transition staging area and Finish Line will again be Hamsterly Beach.
Community groups helping out with the event this year include Help Fill a Dream, Victoria Hospitals Foundation, the TriStars triathlon Club and the Albert Head Cadets.
“We couldn’t do this event without the great support we get from the community groups that help with the event. A portion of each athlete’s entry goes towards honorariums to the groups for being involved with the race. We would also like to thank the residents of the Elk Lake neighbourhood, especially those on Hamsterly Rd and Brookleigh Rd,” Dixon said of the cooperation necessary for the street use during the race.
Along with the more than 400 athletes that will be in town this weekend will be partners and families, bringing an estimated total of 1,000 – 1,200 people to the area, bring tourism spending to the local economy before and after the event each year.
The race starts at 7:15 am on Sunday with awards at 11:30 am at Hamsterly Beach. A continued tradition of this long-running race is the pancake breakfast, being served up for athletes by the Central Saanich Lions Club.