The 12th annual Fort Macleod Triathlon continues to focus on participation, rather than competition.
Triathlon organizers take pride that everyone from the beginner to the experienced athlete will be comfortable in Fort Macleod.
“There are a lot of people who really enjoy the day,” said Alan Poytress, who founded the triathlon after taking up the sport. “We treat them well.”
Just over 200 people have registered for the 12th annual Fort Macleod Triathlon on Saturday, Aug. 16.
That’s down slightly from last year at this point, but Poytress is optimistic registration will reach the target of 300.
“It’s a chronic problem in southern Alberta,” Poytress said. “People wait until the last minute to register. We’ll get there.”
With more people interested in a sport that combines swimming, cycling and running, triathlon is a growing sport with Fort Macleod an increasingly popular destination.
“It’s still a growing sport,” Poytress said, explaining triathlon appeals to people because it requires a full body workout.
When the Fort Macleod Triathlon was established there were few people in town involved in the sport.
Now 10 to 15 Fort Macleod people are regular participants in triathlon — including Ironman events.
The Fort Macleod event started as a mini triathlon, with distances shortened for recreational athletes.
The Fort Macleod Triathlon now offers people the chance to participate in Olympic, sprint, super sprint, youth and relay categories.
The Olympic event consists of a 1.5-kilometre swim, 40-kilometre bike ride and 10-kilometre run.
The sprint includes a 500-m swim, 15-kilometre bike ride and five-kilometre run.
The super sprint consists of a 200-m swim, 10 kilometres of cycling and a two-kilometre run.
The youth event is a 100-m swim, five kilometres of cycling and a one-kilometre run.
Participants are put in age categories that begin with 10 to 14 years and change in five-year increments.
While the event has a strong core of volunteers more people are needed to help, particularly with directing athletes on the route.
“We have a good core group of volunteers but we can always use more,” Poytress said.
The 2014 Fort Macleod Triathlon gets under way at 8 a.m. Saturday when participants in the Olympic category hit the pool.
Visit www.ftmacleodtri.com to register.
To volunteer call Dr. Alan Poytress at 403-553-4003 or Chelsie at 403-360-9565.