Barrelman race ready to roll
The Niagara Falls Barrelman Triathlon will take place Sunday, as more than 1,000 people are scheduled to take part in a two-kilometre swim, a 90-kilometre bike ride, and a 21.1-kilometre run.
The event is developed by MultiSport Canada.
According to event organizers, it is the only point-to-point race in Ontario.
According to a video promoting the event, the race starts with a two-kilometre swim in the Welland Recreational Waterway at the International Flatwater Centre.
The bike course winds 90 kilometres through the region. Athletes will ride under the Welland Canal, through the Townline Tunnel, and along the shores of the Niagara River on the Niagara Parkway.
The 21-kilometre run takes participants through numerous parks, downtown Niagara Falls, and then two loops past the falls, right by the brink of the Horseshoe Falls.
Athletes end their journey in Kingsbridge Park, where they will be greeted by friends, family and spectators, followed by live entertainment.
MultiSport Canada president John Salt said this is the fourth year for the Niagara Falls Barrelman Triathlon, but MultiSport has also held a race in Welland in June for the last 12 years.
Salt said he had a vision of creating a larger triathlon festival in Niagara, which eventually became the current Barrelman event.
“We’ve had a really good working relationship with the Niagara region, all of the various stakeholders have always been very supportive, so you’re always looking for what can you do to maximize economic impact for the region where you are, and then produce a bigger event? It’s a win-win situation,” he said.
Salt said it took about three years of pitching the Niagara Parks Commission and other relevant agencies, and now they have “probably one of the best running portions of a triathlon in Canada.”
“It’s iconic, spectacular, (participants) just can’t believe how great the race is. It’s something for an athlete, when you’re running along the parkway, and you’re running by the falls there, the spectators. Especially this weekend, it’s going to be 28 degrees, you get the mist coming over, it’s pretty beautiful, and that’s what they love.”
To help facilitate the race, there will be road closures along sections of the Niagara Parkway and Upper Rapids Boulevard.
Road closures will be in effect from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, with a full road closure of the Niagara Parkway from Upper Rapids Boulevard south to the Portage Road intersection at Macklem Street.
The closure will also encompass Dufferin Islands, Burning Springs Hill Road and will include a single southbound lane closure of the Niagara Parkway from Murray Street to Upper Rapids Boulevard.
During the race, participants will cycle north along the Niagara Parkway, from Marshall Road in Chippawa to Kingsbridge Park.
Dufferin Islands, including access via Burning Springs Hill Road, will be closed to all vehicular traffic.
Residents on Rapidsview Drive in Chippawa, which intersects with the Niagara Parkway, will be allowed access with the assistance of the Niagara Parks Police.
The Table Rock Welcome Centre, Floral Showhouse, Falls parking lot, and Fraser Hill parking lot will all remain open and accessible.
Additional road and/or lane closures throughout the Fallsview area will be in effect for the event, and may cause delays.
For full route details, visit multisportcanada.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/2017-barrelmanathlete-guide.pdf.
All lanes are expected to reopen at approximately 6 p.m., as the last participants complete the course, and reach the finish line at Kingsbridge Park. firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @RaySpiteri
As was the case during the 2016 Niagara Falls Barrelman Triathlon, the weather is supposed to co-operate when more than 1,000 people participate in the 2017 event on Sunday, Sept. 17.