Steve Brown has got that spark back for triathlons.
Initially reluctant to accept the position of race director for Valley First Challenge Penticton in 2014, taking it on injected passion back into Brown.
“I just really got fired up,” said Brown, who, after two years of brainstorming, announced the creation of the Three Lakes Triathlon Series.
The trio of races will be in Cultus Lake, B.C., Osoyoos and Sylvan Lake, Alta. Cultus Lake Loop Triathlon will be on June 14, followed by the Osoyoos Lake Loop Triathlon on June 28 and Sylvan Lake Loop Triathlon on July 19 of 2015.
“I’m really excited to be doing this,” said Brown, one of the original group members that brought Ironman to Penticton in 1984.
The series will be based upon distances of a one kilometre bike, 60-km swim and 10-km run for a single loop and two-km swim, 90-km bike and 20-km run for a double loop.
“While each event is slightly different in its distances we are not concerning ourselves with exact distances based on traditional triathlons,” said Brown, founder of Peach City Runners as well as owner and operator of ULTRA515 in a release. “We are going to work with what the local terrain offers us. Some events will be slightly higher or lower than those distances. Bottom line is you get to choose one or two loops depending on your fitness and experience level. The big change for Osoyoos is that we will no longer use the out and back on Richter Pass but rather the bike course will now go out and around Black Sage Road between Oliver and Osoyoos.
“We think this is going to be a really good series for the athletes,” Brown told the Western News. “We think it’s going to create excitement within the athletic community. Our organizing group are excited about bring it it to them.”
The goal for the series is to produce a quality event in each location that would attract triathletes from across western Canada, looking for training events to get them prepared for iron distance and Challenge races.
“Cultus Lake, Osoyoos and Sylvan Lake have all proven they can hold large-scale events as they have done so in the past for numerous years,” said Brown.
While the race will be the focal point, the plan is to turn the events into a festival weekend complete with events for family members of all ages, a vendor exposition, kids fun run and an Underpants Run as a fundraiser for Bikes for Kids. They will work with the various communities and local triathlon organizations to develop an athlete, spectator, family and resident-friendly course.
“The immediate concern is to get athlete support for these races,” said Brown. “Both Osoyoos and Sylvan Lake had issues last year with the cancellation of their events last minute by the former organizer leaving athletes high and dry. In order to win back their confidence, we are going to allow athletes that signed up for 2014 to race for free at our event in 2015. We believe this sends out a clear message to the athletes that we are serious about wanting their support and that we are going to put on a quality event for them.”
Brown said that Osoyoos’ event only had 24 entrants, while Sylvan Lake had 30. The numbers were low as Brown said people were nervous and skeptical and held back on registering.
In addition to the individual events, there will also be an Age Group Series in which anyone signing up and doing all three events can win entries into the series draw which will include the grand prize of an all inclusive trip for two to a warm destination in the off season. Details for the series and a list of other prizes is available on the website.
Registration opens Nov. 10 for all three events at www.threelakestriathlonseries.com.