The 18th annual Quality Foods Qualicum Beach Triathlon enjoyed sunny skies and a great showing from its athletes over the weekend.
Taking place at the Ravensong Aquatic Center and around Qualicum Beach, the triathlon filled up with close to 600 competitors ranging in age from four to 70 plus years old. The four to seven age group, called the tiny–tri’s, had the largest group with 89 little triathletes taking part.
“It was another great event. The weather was great for everyone and there were lots of smiles all day,” coordinator David Kazakoff said. “We had a great turnout for triathletes, volunteers and people cheering on the triathletes as well, so it was a great day all around.”
The top male finisher, and first overall was Reagan Lovig, from Nanaimo, with a time of 57:08. Top female went to Lucy Smith, classified as an elite athlete, from Sydney, B.C., at 57:37. Jason Hare, from Parksville, was the first local with a time of 57:38. Top local female went to Deborah Poland, from Qualicum Beach, with a time of 1:04:33.
In the male eight to nine age category, Willem Whitehead was the first local to finish the race. The top local female in the category was Sydney Easthom, who also finished first overall in the category.
Bradley Roonyez was the top local finisher in the 10–11 male, good for third overall. Other top local finishers were Abigail Hare (15–17 female, first in category), Luke Bromley (15–17 male, third), Stacey Neilson (35–39 female, first), Jane Waite (45–49 female), Rob Williamson (45–49 male), Deb Poland (50–54 female), Peter Poland (50–54 male), Sandi Reed (65–69 female), Glen Rogers (65–69 male), Sherri Plummer (70+ female) and Jerry Reed (70+ male).
“We had lots of great feedback from everyone, which is always nice,” Kazakoff said. “Of course, we wouldn’t be able to put on an event like this every year without the help of Quality Foods, as well as the Town of Qualicum Beach and all of our other sponsors and volunteers that come out to help us.”
This marked the first year that the Harry McLaughlin Memorial Award was given out as well. The award exemplifies sportsmanship and the willingness to go above and beyond with anything to do with the triathlon.
Bev Philip, from Qualicum Beach, was named the first recipient of the award for her contributions over the last decade. Each year, Philip encourages students from her class at QBES to sign up and has had students in the event each of the last 10 years.
“She’s really been someone who’s used the triathlon as a way to send a positive message to her students,” Kazakoff said. “She encourages them to take part in something that’s challenging and she’s been doing it for the last decade, which is pretty special.”