Local numbers up for triathlon

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 12:52 PM ET

This should be a good weekend to go for a run, bike or swim -- or all three if you're anywhere near Lakeside.

The fifth edition of the Lakeside triathlon and duathlon, which is part of locally-run MultiSport Canada's HSBC Bank Canada Triathlon Series, happens today and tomorrow at Lakeside Resort northeast of London.

"We're expecting more kids for our Kids of Steel races because for ages eight and up, there's points at stake in their (provincial) series," MultiSport Canada president John Salt said. "It's great to see the kids come out, because we're really trying to promote a healthy lifestyle. There's points, but 90 per cent of the competitors come out because it's fun."

"Fun" isn't always the first impression for fledgling athletes, who often put triathlon and duathlon up there with marathon in the intimidation category. But Salt and his cohorts are trying to change that mindset.

"We've always had the Give-It-a-Tri events (tomorrow) and you look at the distances in those and swimming 300 metres isn't that bad, 10 kilometres on the bike is pretty easy, then it's a two- kilometre run," Salt said. "You don't have to be training for the Ironman to take part in it. We've brought in a coach, Deborah Moore, who will help take away some of that intimidation."

Londoners don't appear to be flustered by the event. The number of local participants has grown recently. The Whitmore family of Steve, Lori and son Shane will take part in the weekend along with local Ironman qualifiers Tony Frost and Karla Van Kessel.

The Lakeside triathlon comes on the heels of the second running of last week's non-traditional triathlon and duathlon event at Fanshawe Lake. That series stop included off-road biking, which has opened up racing to another group of competitors.

"It has worked out really well," Salt said. "In London there has been growth in biking and running groups and they're coming out to give these events a try."

LAKESIDE TRIATHLON

AND DUATHLON

Part of the HSBC Bank Canada Triathlon Series

When: Today and tomorrow at Lakeside Resort

Today: Sprint duathlon and relay, 10 a.m.; Sprint triathlon and relay, 10:05 a.m.; Kids of Steel, 2 p.m.

Tomorrow: Duathlon and relay, 9 a.m.; triathlon and relay, 9:05 a.m.; Give it a Tri, 11 a.m.

Parking: $2. Follow signs to parking area, which is 100 metres south of Lakeside Resort.

Info: www.multisportcanada.com


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