Competitive field for 33rd Peach Classic Triathlon

Fast and competitive it is what organizers expect for the 33rd edition of the Peach Classic Triathlon in Penticton Sunday.

Men's Olympic distance winner Nathan Champness exits the water in the 2014 Peach City Classic Triathlon. This year's event takes place Sunday

Men's Olympic distance winner Nathan Champness exits the water in the 2014 Peach City Classic Triathlon. This year's event takes place Sunday

Fast and competitive it is what organizers expect for the 33rd edition of the Peach Classic Triathlon in Penticton Sunday.

Steve Brown, race director, said the field has no clear favourites registered.

“There are a number of athletes we expect that will post some fast times, making this a fast and competitive race in both distances,” said Brown.

The event includes an Olympic distance race (1,500 metre swim, 40 kilometre bike and 10 km run) and a sprint distance race (750 m swim, 20 km bike and five km run). This year’s sprint race also serves as a Canadian age group qualifier for the world championships in 2016. The winner of each age group is eligible for the national age group team for 2016.

Brown said registration numbers for the triathlon are consistent with the last couple of years, with 326 athletes signed up as of Wednesday. He added despite the industry having ups and downs the Peach Classic Triathlon has remained consistent over the years. It will become the oldest triathlon in the province following the closure of the Sri Chinmoy race in Victoria this year.

“I think it is the experience the triathlon brings to the table with strong organizers and volunteers,” said Brown, of how the event has maintained being successful. “Penticton has a tradition of being a triathlon town and it is all those little things that have sustained it over time.”

Residents are asked to be aware of the course and possible disruptions to normal traffic from 6 a.m. to noon. Downtown traffic will be most affected with the closure of the 100 block of Main Street, except for controlled access to the Lakeside Resort and Pier Water Sports. Anyone parking in the 100 block will not be able to exit until after noon.

The race starts at 7 a.m. from Challenge Beach at Rotary Park, with the sprint swim followed by the Olympic swim 10 minutes later.

The bike course uses Lakeshore Drive, Front Street and up Vancouver Hill to 1980 Naramata Rd. (sprint turnaround) or Painted Rock (Olympic turnaround). The return route has cyclists on Naramata Road, north on Upper Bench Road around Munson Mountain and back down Vancouver Hill to transition in Rotary Park.

The run course follows a similar path turning off at Vancouver Hill to the KVR trail.

Volunteers for the event are still needed and can sign up by going to Peach City Runners between noon and 5 p.m. or online at www.threelakestriathlonseries.com and follow the links to Peach Classic Triathlon. Those giving their time are invited to the post-race lunch and awards in Rotary Park following the race finish at noon and are eligible for draw prizes donated by the triathlon sponsors.