From an elite event of standard distance the Wasa Triathlon, in the Kootenays of B.C., has transformed into one of the most family-friendly festival weekends in Western Canada. The event has grown over the last 20 years from 90 competitors to over 1000 participants with nearly one quarter being young triathletes aged between four to 15 years old.
Race director, Charlie Cooper said “the event attracts families from all over B.C., Alberta and North West USA. The growth in recent years has been led by the number of young triathletes coming with their families. We are proud to cater to all ages with the first event day being dedicated to support our younger competitors”.
On June 11, the Trikids Triathlon will again see a large group of smiley kids crossing the finish line for a well-earned medal. Cooper explains that all young competitors will get to enjoy the same race experience as the adults: professional announcer Steve King, loads of volunteer support, drink stations, electronic timing, the exciting finish chute lined up with spectators, a catered lunch and a groovy t-shirt.
“We want these young triathletes to love the sport, experience the competition but above all it’s about participation and having a fun weekend with the family” says Charlie. Many Albertan families use the Wasa triathlon as a camping weekend, enjoying the long summer mountain days and impressive setting.
For moms and dads there is some serious racing to be had on the Sunday with the sprint and standard distances both for individual and relay teams. The scenic shores of Wasa Lake attract amateurs and elite triathletes to compete in this swim-bike-run event. First-timers in the sport also target this event as a must-do to kick off their season.
According to Cooper, it’s not only the picturesque mountain scenery and pure air that attracts competitors; the prize money is good too, with $4,300 to be awarded to the top 5 finishers in the women and men’s categories. The quality of the competition every year makes Wasa’s standard course one of the most competitive and fastest.
All TriKids receive some good orienteering and preparation to make it a fun, memorable and safe experience. Many parents report young ones sleeping with their medals and proudly wearing their Wasa event shirt to school!