cana­dian race

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Ni­a­gara Falls Bar­rel­man

The hon­ey­moon cap­i­tal of the world will host the much an­tic­i­pated Ni­a­gara Falls Bar­rel­man on Sun­day, Sept. 21, 2014. Mul­ti­Sport Canada is known for de­liv­er­ing fam­ily friendly events. In ad­di­tion to spec­tac­u­lar views, Ni­a­gara Falls, Ont. is brim­ming with tourist at­trac­tions for all ages. Wine lovers will ap­pre­ci­ate that the race date co­in­cides with the Ni­a­gara Wine Fes­ti­val.

Start­ing in Wel­land, Ont., the race takes ad­van­tage of the spec­ta­tor-friendly and pro­tected wa­ters of the Wel­land Recre­ational Wa­ter­way. The bike course is f lat and fast, and the run course fea­tures two climbs and two de­scents that pro­vide a spec­tac­u­lar panoramic view of both the Amer­i­can and Cana­dian falls. Ath­letes will also run past the falls twice – no other race of­fers this op­por­tu­nity. Post-race, ath­letes can meet up with their fam­i­lies and sup­port­ers at Kings­bridge Park and will only have to walk 800 m to their ve­hi­cles to make their way home or back to their ho­tels.

Ath­letes can par­tic­i­pate in the in­di­vid­ual triathlon (2 km swim, 90 km bike, 21.1 km run), triathlon re­lay (2 km swim, 90 km bike, 21.1 km run), in­di­vid­ual swim/ bike (2 km swim, 90 km bike), in­di­vid­ual bike/run (90 km bike, 21.1 km run), in­di­vid­ual duathlon (5 km run, 90 km bike, 21.1 km run), or duathlon re­lay (5 km run, 90 km bike, 21.1 km run).

Triathlon Mag­a­zine Canada spoke with John Salt, pres­i­dent of Mul­ti­Sport Canada, to get the full run­down for this in­au­gu­ral event.

TMC: Can you ex­plain the name change and how you came up with the new one? John Salt: We were ad­vised by an out­side party that for le­gal rea­sons we would have

to change the name of the race and re­move all ref­er­ences to the word “iron.” I de­cided we should make this un­fore­seen sit­u­a­tion into an op­por­tu­nity and so we came up with a “Name the Race” con­test. The win­ning en­try re­ceived a free race en­try and two nights ac­com­mo­da­tions. The con­test lasted two weeks and we had over 200 name sug­ges­tions. In the end we chose the Ni­a­gara Falls Bar­rel­man.

TMC: Why Bar­rel­man?

JS: The con­no­ta­tions of the “bar­rel over the falls” and the Ni­a­gara wine grow­ing re­gion are ob­vi­ous. It also meant we could have some fun with things such as cloth­ing and fin­ish­ers’ medals. In fact we ex­pect that the fin­ish­ers’ medal will be in the shape of a bar­rel, maybe with an ath­lete peek­ing out from the in­side.


This has been a pet project of yours for over three years, what made you de­cide to base the race out of Ni­a­gara Falls and Wel­land? Were other lo­ca­tions be­ing con­sid­ered?

JS: Even with all of the great lo­ca­tions in On­tario find­ing 90 to 180 km of road for a bike is very hard. The idea for Ni­a­gara Falls ac­tu­ally came about dur­ing a con­ver­sa­tion with the for­mer mayor of Wel­land. The mayor asked if we would ever con­sider a point-to-point race and sug­gested we in­cor­po­rate Ni­a­gara Falls into the Wel­land race, given that the falls are only 20 min­utes away. Once we drove from Wel­land and saw the po­ten­tial for a vis­ually stun­ning back­drop, we knew we had to de­velop this race.

TMC: What fea­tures will cre­ate last­ing mem­o­ries for the ath­letes?

JS: We think that the beauty of the whole course, not just the sec­tion past the falls, will be some­thing that ath­letes will take away from the race. We also know that there will be a few sec­tions that will chal­lenge our ath­letes. The course will have a good deal of va­ri­ety, from quiet sec­tions through the Duf­ferin Is­lands and along Portage Road early on in each loop, to the en­ergy of run­ning down Mur­ray Hill with the falls in sight.

TMC: The in­au­gu­ral race will also play host to the On­tario Provin­cial Long Course Cham­pi­onships. How will that im­pact that race? Do you ex­pect a more com­pet­i­tive field?

JS: We al­ready know some of the pro mem­bers of the Recharge With Milk Triathlon Se­ries Am­bas­sador Team will be rac­ing and you can ex­pect to see Lionel San­ders (win­ner of the 2013 Iron­man 70.3 Muskoka), Cody Beals, Alexan­der Van­der­Lin­den, Mikael Staer Nathan, An­gela Quick and Kris­ten Marchant. Given that the race will be the On­tario Provin­cial Long Course Cham­pi­onships, we hope to see a good num­ber of the top age group ath­letes. We will have $5,000 in prize money that will be awarded to the top five males and fe­males, whether they race as pro or age group.

TMC: What is your ca­pac­ity for this race and how is reg­is­tra­tion go­ing so far?

JS: While we be­lieve this race could han­dle 2,000 ath­letes, we have capped the race at 1,000 for the first year. We want to hon­our the Mul­ti­Sport Canada phi­los­o­phy of pro­duc­ing ath­lete-cen­tred friendly races that are safe. No mat­ter how well you de­sign a race course you can never be 100 per cent sure of the ca­pac­ity un­til you have seen it un­der race con­di­tions so the cap is half of what we be­lieve it can han­dle. Get more race de­tails or reg­is­ter for the race at ni­a­garafall­s­–


The Ni­a­gara Bar­rel­man will use the same swim course as the Wel­land Triathlon (above)

The Ni­a­gara Bar­rel­man course will cover sim­i­lar ground to the Wel­land Triathlon

Canada’s Ni­a­gara Falls

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