Celebrating Canada 150, triathlon style
In addition to that free hiking you are planning to do in our national parks to celebrate Canada 150, you might consider a sports tourism trip to Ottawa the third weekend in June for the triathlon nationals, which include the first national university and club championships in this country and five events (see sidebar) that are open to everyone, all at a world heritage site venue that’s a short run, bike ride or paddle from Parliament Hill.
Sharon Donnelly, race director for the Ottawa International Triathlon (OIT), host of Triathlon Canada’s nationals for the second year in a row, says all university teams in the country are invited to race on June 17 and 18 at Dow’s Lake on the Rideau Canal.
“This is your chance to compete for your college or university and claim the title of Canada’s triathlon school.”
The same goes for triathlon clubs across the country. “Not everyone who does triathlon training enters races, and even where there is a strong sense of camaraderie among members of a triathlon club at competitions, they are racing in different age categories and divided by gender in the results,” Donnelly explains. “This category allows members of provincially sanctioned clubs to compete together, as a real team, for fun and for the greater glory of their club.”
In addition to a number of national championships, the OIT will host Ontario’s only International Triathlon Union (ITU) event this year. Donnelly says the CAMTRI Premier America’s Cup is attracting some of North and South America’s best triathletes for a two-day crowdpleasing showdown. All elite athletes will hammer out a super-sprint (300-m swim, 8-km bike, 1.6-km run) on Saturday, and their results will determine the A and B pools for Sunday’s sprint-distance finals. Rising star Dominika Jamnicky, 24, trains in Guelph, Ont. and finished third among the elites last year in Ottawa. She says this new format will showcase the talent of the best triathletes from all across the country. “The circuitstyle bike and run course will make for very technical and
high-paced racing, which I love. I’m really looking forward to mixing it up.” The elite events will offer Triathlon Canada a good look at the next generation of triathletes, and offer the athletes in turn an opportunity to impress in advance of team selections for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.
Donnelly and her organizing team promise a festive atmosphere in the spirit of sesquicentennial celebrations in Ottawa, a great place to visit during Canada 150. The race expo on Friday will be geared to families and include a youth sports expo area.
Check out ottawatriathlon.ca for more information and registration details.—tmc
PHOTOS 2016 Ottawa CAMTRI