Thunder Bay – The XTERRA Sleeping Giant Off-Road Triathlon and Outdoor Festival is set for this Saturday August 24th at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park.
This marks the 6th year for the event with the triathlon once again a qualifier for the XTERRA World Championships in Maui. The event which includes relays, trail runs and a duathlon is set for an 8:30 am start at the Sleeping Giant Provincial Park with 320 participants signed up to take part.
“We have blown our attendance record to bits, with 100 plus racers from out-of-town including 44 Americans from as far away as California and Colorado,” said founder and former race director Gord Ryan.
The field includes 37 competitors from Minnesota with others coming from across Canada Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Quebec and the Northwest Territories.
Ryan credits new race directors, Michel Caza and Phil Brown for generating increased interest. “They have been very good with social media.”
“We are so excited the park will be full and invite spectators to come out and watch. It will be worth your while with all the athletes competing,” said Caza
This will is not be your ordinary triathlon. No busy paved highways and weedy dark lakes here.
The swim starts the tri-sport event in the clean, clear, spring-fed Marie Louise Lake. From there, the race enters the contrast between the beauty and the beast. The beauty belongs to the flowy, grassy mountain bike trail. The beast belongs to the technical run on the park trails. The mountain bike course is intended to be a fast ride and will open up to enable passing in some sections. The run will head through forest canopies, over creeks, and over vistas of Lake Superior.
The full-length triathlon includes a 1k, two-lap swim, a 24k, two-loop bike course, and a 10k out and back run.
The short triathlon consists of a 500m, one-lap swim, a single 12k loop of the mountain bike course, and a 6k trail run.
If the water seems a bit too chilly, the XTERRA Sleeping Giant duathlon offers a 2k run, the full 24k mountain bike course, and a 17k run.
If running is more your thing, there are distances. The 5k will be held on a nature trail, while the 21k will include more technical sections.
There are two runs for kids, a 2km for those 8 -11 and 750 meters for 6 – 7 year olds.
Still Time to Register
Interested participants can sign up online or at Fresh Air Thunder Bay during race kit pick up from 4 – 9 pm on Thursday or 6:30 am to 8 am Saturday at the race venue at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park.