Zachary Pasquill of Qualicum Beach snatches a cup of water from his father while cycling on Jones Street during the Qualicum Beach Triathlon Sunday, June 25, 2017. — J.R. Rardon photo

Qualicum Beach Triathlon draws nearly 400

20th annual swim, bike, run event held as part of Canada 150 celebration

Nearly 400 competitors, ranging from tykes to senior citizens, took part in the 20th annual Qualicum Beach Triathlon Sunday, June 25, at the Ravensong Aquatic Centre and the recreational park complex.

Participants swam, cycled and ran, either as individuals or in relay teams, over varying distances depending on their age group and skill level.

“We could have gotten maybe 10 or 15 people in, but we’re basically full,” said Jim Powell, vice-chair of the triathlon.

“This year’s kind of special, too, because we’re celebrating Canada 150, and we’re sanctioned by ParticipACTION 150. We got a grant from the Community foundation of Parksville and Qualicum to help us out this year.”

The overall winners for adults were Joel Lutz for the men, the only competitor to break one hour at 59 minutes, 53 seconds, and Teresa Tomchak among women, in 1:13:59.

In the youth competition, for 12- to 17-year-olds, Jakob Mbobela of Qualicum Beach was the top boys finisher in 40:25. Kate Brooks led the girls, in 42:24.

The minors division featured age groups ranging from four to 11 years of age. Eli Rinald (10-11 age group) overcame a slow start in the swim to post the fastest times in both the cycle and to lead the boys in 22:39. Callie Wickman (10-11) was the first girls in 24:21.

The Qualicum Beach Triathlon is organized by a committee of 10 people, who began working on the event in February, said Powell. Another 50 volunteers help out on race day.

“We’re a non-profit society and any of the funds we raise we give back to the groups that support us,” said Powell. Those groups included KSS and Ballenas secondary students who helped set up the day before the event, and other community groups who provide volunteers to help monitor the course and transition area the day of the event.

Results, including relay teams, can be found at www.qualicumbeachtriathlon.com/results.