The sun wasn’t shining and the rain held off, but that didn’t matter to the swimmers at the Perth indoor pool competing in the Perth Triathlon. They were focussed on the lane in front of them and how fast they could get to the end of it. It still wasn’t raining by the time the first swimmers rolled out of the pool and took off to the transition area where they dried off, tugged on their bicycling shoes, helmets and dark glasses, and headed out on the bike stage of the race.
The Perth Triathlon was in full swing early on June 4 and by 9:30 the first runner crossed the finish line after completing all three legs of the race — swimming, bicycling, and running. The prizes: a pie for first place, cookies for second and fudge for third.
The noise at the pool on Sunset Blvd. was loud, the bleachers were packed with enthusiastic family members and competitors waiting to swim.
About 100 people, including six teams, were registered to compete, says Shannon Baillon, Director of Community Services with the Town of Perth. Money raised will go to the Perth Stingrays Aquatic Club and the pool.
This is a small triathlon but it’s been a tradition in Perth for more than 16 years. Most competitors race what’s called the classic: a 500-metre swim (20 laps), a 16.8 kilometre bike ride and a 3.2 kilometre run. But there is also a double classic: 40 laps swimming, 33.6-kilometre bike ride, and 6.4-kilometre run.
This particular triathlon was initially started to develop interest in the sport and that aim still holds true today, commented one volunteer race official. People do it to see if they can, families do it together, friends make up teams and compete, and there’s a general feeling of wellness and fun.
This year at least one husband-and-wife team competed, and there were eight 60 plus-year-olds racing.
Part of the whole overall experience is the potluck afterwards. “If you use up 1000 calories during the race, it’s easy to pack it back on,” said one of the race officials.