Race volunteers prepare competitors in the tyke division for their swimming heats at the start of the 19th annual Qualicum Beach Triathlon June 26.

Race volunteers prepare competitors in the tyke division for their swimming heats at the start of the 19th annual Qualicum Beach Triathlon June 26.

Multi-discipline athletes tri, tri again

Large youth turnout spices 19th annual Qualicum Beach Triathlon

Sunny skies and warm temperatures helped draw a huge crowd of participants and spectators to the 19th annual Qualicum Beach Triathlon.

Overall winner Michael Didham posted a blazing time of 56 minutes, 47 seconds for the 400-metre swim, 18-km bike ride and 5-km run during the June 26 triathlon. The first female finisher was Stacey Neilson, with a time of 1:05:25 over the same course. Veteran triathlete Rob Williamson was the first local finisher with a time of 59:45 and was third overall in the race standings.

Participation in the minor (ages 8-11) and youth (ages 12-17) categories was high. Well over 250 children/youth completed the course either as individuals or part of teams of three — each completing one of the events.  Approximately seventy tiny-tris, ages 4-7, completed a mini tri course with loud cheers from the large crowd of spectators, making for a festive and supportive event.

The success of this annual event is dependent upon the large number of volunteers who act as timers, race marshals and transition co-ordinators. A big thank you goes to all the volunteers from the race committee, and the race executive is indebted to its two main sponsors — Qualicum Foods and The Town of Qualicum Beach  — along with many other local businesses who provide financial support by race prizes.

Complete race standings for all age groups can be found on the triathlon website: www.qualicumbeachtriathlon.com.

— Submitted by Jim Powell