The Wasa Lake Triathlon returned in full force this year, despite come challenges along the way.
The event took place on the weekend of June 11 and 12 at Wasa Lake.
Event organizer Barb Fode of RM Events says that considering the cold spring we experienced, they lucked out with some beautiful weather during the weekend.
“Saturday we had a bit of a wet start, but thankfully it turned into a nice day. Sunday was a beautiful day so we really lucked out weather-wise,” Fode said, adding that it was forecast to snow the following Monday.
She says it was great to return to their normal race month of June after a few tumultuous years of cancellations and date changes.
“It was good to get back to June, our normal, annual month for the event,” Fode said.
It didn’t come without challenges, however, with a lack of volunteers and increased costs.
“We had some challenges, we struggled with getting volunteers this year and I’m not sure why, whether it was getting back into the swing of things, or COVID, or the time of year… in the end people stepped up and we have a successful event” Fode explained. “Overall we had lots of positive feedback.”
She adds that having the race in June is a benefit, especially for athletes who will go on to race the Ironman and other similar competitions.
“It’s nice to have the race at the start of the season, it puts us back into the place of being a potential training event for people who are going on to other marathons, it sets the tone for the season.”
She said that there were around 500 people registered, which is slightly less than their typical number.
There were also some safety concerns surrounding the water temperature which changed the event slightly.
“I think the weather definitely was a factor in that, especially for the kids events. We ended up having the kids run instead of swim because there were some concerns about the water temperature. We also required adults to wear wet suits for the swim,” Fode explained. “64 per cent of the athletes were from Alberta, and so many of them said they felt like they were just coming out of winter.”
While Fode and her team are still wrapping up this year’s event, she plans to start working on the 2023 race at the end of August and hopes to have registration open in October.
In 2021 they introduced a new event called the Wasa Warrior, which allows athletes to race in both events on Saturday and Sunday.
Mika Eggink won this year’s Wasa Warrior with a time of 1:01:33 in the sprint, 1:55:48 in the standard, for a total of 2:57:21.
“He absolutely smashed last year’s time, he crushed it,” said Fode.
In second place for the Wasa Warrior was Skaug Whittier, and Parry Darryl in third.
All of the results can be found online at rmevents.com/results.
This year the Wasa Triathlon was also a qualifying event for the 2023 World Championships in Europe, and was a host of the BC Sprint Championship.
Fode says there is the potential for many athletes to qualify for worlds, so long as they submitted an expression of interest.
Fode adds that the RM Events crew is always looking for volunteers, committee members and sponsors for the triathlon.
“We’re so thankful to all of the volunteers, community members and sponsors, and our lead sponsor this year Just Liquid Sports,” said Fode. “Also, a big thank you to the Wasa Lions Club for preparing and providing all of the meals and helping with parking and other supports. It’s really nice to be able to involve them in the race while we are in their community for the weekend.”