Penticton Indoor Triathlon puts training to the test

Winter is no longer an excuse when it comes to training for triathlon in Penticton.

The City of Penticton Recreation Department invites athletes to put their winter training to the test with the first annual Penticton Indoor Triathlon set for Sunday, Feb. 10.

The Penticton Community Centre has partnered with the South Okanagan Events Centre to bring the sport of triathlon indoors, hosting a swim in the pool, bike at the SOEC at ice level and a run that will include stairs off ice level up to the main concourse with a full lap around the concourse, back to ice level and repeat. The fun and safe environment is the prime location to try the sport of triathlon for beginners, and athletes are broken into categories: Junior (12 to 17 years old), Open (18 to 34 years), Pre-Masters (35-50 years) and Masters (51-plus).

"So many athletes thrive on competition, so adding an indoor triathlon to their training schedule in the middle of winter is a great opportunity to keep that competitive edge," said Shelie Best, Recreation Coordinator for the City of Penticton.

When the days are short and temperatures dip down below freezing, it can be difficult to stay motivated to maintain fitness levels. In addition to having training plans in place, the inaugural Indoor Triathlon gives triathletes (and aspiring triathletes) an off-season goal to work toward. For an added bonus, a very familiar voice will be urging athletes along: longtime announcer Steve King has agreed to call the event.

"This event is a great companion to Challenge Penticton and other local races, in that it helps athletes measure how effective their training plans are during the winter months," said Barb Haynes, Challenge Penticton General Manager. "Penticton is home base for so many incredible triathletes, and it will be fantastic to showcase the endurance and spirit of athletes even during the off-season."

The friendly competition challenges athletes to achieve as much "distance" indoors as possible within a given time. Fifteen minutes have been allotted for the swim, 30 minutes for the bike and 20 minutes for the run. Fifteen minutes of transition time has also been allotted between the swim and bike, but no transition is anticipated between the bike and run.

Participants can pick up their packets and sign in between 8 and 9:30 a.m. the day of the race at the SOEC. The race is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with staggered start times that are assigned 45 minutes apart. An awards banquet will follow at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

Registrations are limited, so those who are interested are encouraged to sign up early. Cost is $52 per person (including tax) and this includes the triathlon, banquet, a drink ticket and a chance to win one of many door prizes. The grand prize draw will be for a Challenge Penticton registration, available for either an individual or relay team entry.

Registration forms are available at the Bike Barn, Peach City Runners and Penticton Community Centre, and completed forms can be dropped off with payment at 325 Power St.

Those looking to register online can visit www.penticton.ca/recreation and enter course No. 32758. The deadline for registration is Feb. 6.