Super League Triathlon makes its North American debut in Penticton on Aug. 17 to 19. Photo provided

Super League Triathlon makes North American debut in Penticton

Making its North American debut, the event brings a new twist to the traditional sport

The traditional long course swim-bike-run triathlon in Penticton is getting a shake-up with organizers describing the Super League Triathlon as a “game-changing, fan-friendly” event.

“Penticton will be one of the first cities in the world to experience this dynamic event,” said Michael Brown, race director, Super League Triathlon Penticton. “Super League has changed the face of multisport racing, injecting fresh energy into the sport and spurring renewed global enthusiasm for triathlon. Triathlon fans and local residents are going to love what they see.”

Related: Road closures for Super League Triathlon

The Super League Triathlon makes its North American debut Aug. 17 to 19 on a tight course that organizers hope will be fast-paced, delivering ever-changing race leads as athletes compete against each other in three stages.

“We have about 1,000 registrations across the three races, a lot of these folks are coming from national and international destinations. This format is drawing a lot of attention from the international triathlon community — the swim, bike, run format hasn’t really been shaken up in the 30 or 40 years that triathlon has been around,” said Darren Hailes, director of communications for the event.

This event differs from other triathlons because of its short course format and variation from the traditional swim, bike, run events.

Participants will first compete in the Equalizer — a stand-alone 15 kilometre cycling time trial for the first stage on Aug. 17 at Area 27 racetrack in Oliver. The next day, Equalizer competitors will complete a 300 metre swim, a 2.5 km run, a 300 m swim a 16 km bike then a 2.5 km run.

Professional athletes will be handicapped according to their finish times in Friday’s time trial and the slowest athletes eliminated after the first run leg.

On Aug. 19, age-group athletes race the Standard Enduro event, comprised of six short-distance swim-bike-run-swim-bike-run legs. That afternoon, the pro Eliminator stage consists of three swim-bike-run races, with each round separated by only a 10-minute break. The slowest athletes will be eliminated between each round. These events will take place at Gyro and Rotary parks. Times from all three races are combined to find age-group champions.

While this competition will feature both national and international participants, there is also a field of 30 professional athletes. Locals can cheer on some of B.C.’s own including Rachel McBride and Nathan Killam. The pros will be racing for one of 10 qualifying spots into the five-leg Super League Triathlon Championship series, taking place across Europe and Asia-Pacific between September and March. Athletes that make the championship series will race under contract in the closed league, competing for $1.5 million U.S.

Spectators are welcome to set up in Gyro Park and along Penticton Lakeside Resort and Conference Centre.

“The best place for spectators to be is right outside the Penticton Lakeside Resort on Lakeshore Drive. The athletes will be coming through time and time again because they are really quick, short laps so there’ll be a lot of action there,” said Hailes.

Registration is still open for any of the races, including the family fun run (almost one km) that takes place on Aug. 16 at 5 p.m.

Event organizers are still looking for volunteers to assist with transitioning as well as course marshalling. More information and event registration can be found at Super League Triathlon Penticton’s website.

Road closures for this event affecting local traffic are as follows:Lakeshore Drive, the streets around Gyro Park, and Vancouver Ave/ Lower Bench Road/ Corbishley Avenue will be closed until 4 p.m. on Aug. 18.

Main, Ellis and Government streets, and Dawson Avenue will be affected until 11 a.m. on Aug. 19, with Lakeshore Drive closed and minor road closures around Gyro Park until 5 p.m.

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