Race director pleased with athlete entry

The gun that sounds off the 29th annual Investors Group Peach Classic Triathlon will be going to work earlier.

The gun that sounds off the 29th annual Investors Group Peach Classic Triathlon will be going to work earlier.

Normally starting at 7 a.m. on Sunday, this year’s triathlon will begin at 6:45 a.m. near the Peach.

Co-race director Dave Bullock said there are 332 participants registered with online registrations ending July 13.

“I’m pretty pleased and actually surprised,” said Bullock. “Early in the year, other races such as Granfondo, I thought would impact it. I’m pleasantly pleased.”

There are some changes to the event.

The Olympic distance and sprint distance will both start at the same time and the swim is shorter, now one loop for the sprint and two loops for the Olympic athletes.

On the run course, after running down Lakeshore Drive and on to Riverside Drive, athletes will turn and return to Burnaby Avenue and then along to Westminster Avenue. Bullock said this change will make it safer for athletes. Ipods are also not allowed on the course.

Bullock expects the event to end at 10:45 a.m. and feels that local Jeff Symonds is favoured to win. Others participating are Kevin Cutjar, Geoff Waterman and Dave Matheson. Karen Tullock, who won last year, is also participating.

Last year’s winner was Jan Francke, who crossed the finish line in 2:01.08 after sleeping in his car for five hours following his shift at the Home Depot in Squamish. There will be 44 local participants.

Starting the weekend will be the Boston Pizza Junior triathlon Saturday at 7 a.m. with 140-plus participants, the most in recent years. Bullock said there are 45 elite racers participating and athletes as young as seven years old. The elite females athletes begin at 10 a.m., while males are at 11:15 a.m.