The reality is that local independent races are facing an uphill battle when producing a race with the 70.3 distance.
APOPULAR EARLY-SEASON STOP on the Ontario race calendar, the Rose City Triathlon Weekend, will undergo a big change in 2016 – the half-distance race will be replaced by a 2-km swim, 55-km bike and 15-km run.
For 21 years the event was known as the Mike Burwell Memorial Triathlon, with Multisport Canada taking over the organization in 2007 (after the event took a one-year break in 2006). Multisport introduced a half-distance race in 2010, but decided to change due to the competitive nature of the half distance.
John Salt, president of MultiSport Canada, explains: “We have given careful consideration to the current situation in the triathlon market and felt we had no alternative but to change the format. The reality is that local independent races are facing an uphill battle when producing a race with the 70.3 distance.”
Last year’s Barrelman Triathlon began at the spectator- and athlete-friendly Welland International Flatwater Centre. The site offers stadium seating for spectators, flat, clean and clear water conditions, along with an easy to navigate swim that’s close to the transition area. The site also offers plenty of parking for athletes and their entourages.
The bike is flat and fast, with the only real challenge being wind, while the run takes place along the flat paved fitness path along the Welland Recreational Waterway. How fast athletes will run depends on how hard they hammered the bike to get an impressive bike split and the toll that steady pedalling has on the legs.
The weekend’s events include a Sprint Triathlon, Duathlon, and Give-it-a-tri on Saturday, June 25, and the new Long Distance Triathlon, Swim/bike, Bike/run and Relay on Sunday, June 26. Salt adds, “The new Rose City Long Course Triathlon will be the perfect distance as a tune-up race for athletes intending to race a longer distance in 2016, or a great race to challenge yourself at a distance that is a little less physically demanding than a half iron race.”