Three hundred participants took part in the third annual Victory Triathlon on July 18. The triathlon consists of a swim, then a bike ride and finishes with a run. The distances vary depending on the category a participant enters.
There were a number of categories this year: a Try-a-Tri for beginners, sprint, standard, and for the first time an elite category. For those hoping to qualify for the provincial and world championships there were two duathlon events, the spirit and the standard distance. The standard distance event was new for 2015, which entailed a 10 km swim, a 40 km bike section and ended with a 5 km run.
Today the triathlon is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. In Canada there are over 20,000 triathletes with a worldwide that number has passed 6 million with close to 100 nations evolved in the sport. Each year the International Triathlon Union (ITU) holds triathlon and duathlon world championships. These championships are held in different locations around the globe. The world championships mark the culmination of the season for both elite athletes and age group competitors. Thousands of age group athletes have traveled to exotic places around the world to compete for their country.
For those wishing to compete in the 2016 world championships they need to participate in the qualifying events held throughout Canada between June 2015 and September 2015. The Leduc Victory Triathlon was such an event. Currently the long distance triathlon is scheduled for Oklahoma City in September and the triathlon/sprint/aquathlon/paratriathlon scheduled for Mexico with the date to be determined.
Since the first Leduc Triathlon in 2013 the event has increased the number of participants from 200 to 300 with a waiting list that gets longer each year. Athletes are divided into age categories, which provide a level playing field for all participants. Activities for the triathlon began with a pasta dinner on Friday evening and a volunteer breakfast at 5 a.m. on Saturday.
The first event began at 7 a.m. on Saturday, July 18 with the last event ending after 2 p.m.
The swim portion of the triathlon took place in the Leduc Recreation Center’s pool. The bike section began at the LRC heading south on Black Gold Drive and then east on Rollyview Road for 5 kms. Riders then turned back towards the LRC and repeated the route depending in which category they were entered. First aid and the RCMP were presence at the intersection of Black Gold and Rollyview Road throughout the event. Once the bike section was completed participants then began to run a loop counter-clockwise that took them through the east half of the William F. Lede Park. Again the number of loops depended in the category entered.