Nathan Killam finishes the last stretch of Challenge Penticton in 2016. Killam is competing this weekend in the Super League Triathlon races.                                Western News File Photo

Nathan Killam finishes the last stretch of Challenge Penticton in 2016. Killam is competing this weekend in the Super League Triathlon races. Western News File Photo

Athletes gear up for Super League Triathlon

Pro athletes discuss the upcoming Super League Triathlon taking place in Penticton Aug. 17-19

With the Super League Triathlon beginning this weekend, the city will soon be flooded with competitors and spectators.

At a press conference on Aug. 16 at the Penticton Lakeside Resort, a panel of athletes set to compete in the triathlon discussed their experiences, training, and hopes for this competition.

Four-time World Triathlon Champion Chris McCormack sat on the panel and wished his luck to those competing this weekend. When asked of the smoke and how it may impact the athletes, McCormack said they’re “monitoring the situation closely” but due to the sprint format of the events, it shouldn’t be a concern.

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“There’s governance, obviously, around the air quality that we must abide by. So we’re constantly monitoring what (the air quality) will be and will have to make decisions around that,” said McCormack.

Nathan Killam, Vancouver-based athlete and firefighter, was also among the athletes on the panel. Previously, he competed in the Ironman Canada competitions held in Penticton.

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While this is far from Killam’s first race, it is one of his first as a new father. According to him, while his schedule is jam-packed, it hasn’t slowed him or his training down.

“There’s been a lot less time for fluff and duff in my life, so I don’t have time to sit around on Facebook anymore. We’ve altered my training a little bit to be a little less volume and more intensity — and it seems to be playing out well so far this year. But it’s definitely challenging for sure,” said Killam.

Organizers of the event anticipate this is just the beginning for Super League Triathlons in Penticton, drawing on the successes of past similar events such as Ironman Canada.

“This used to be, and still is in my heart, the hub of triathlon in Canada. Penticton is where the sport grew up in Canada and we’ve had such successes (over the years),” said McCormack. “Good luck to all the athletes racing, you’re going to have such an amazing time on this circuit. Best of luck.”

The first event for the Super League Triathlon kicks off at 5 pm on Aug. 17. For more information about the event, visit www.superleaguecanada.com.