Triathlon gets Olympic fever 0
The Subaru Banff Triathlon has Olympic fever.
Rosie MacLennan, the only Canadian to win gold at the London 2012 Olympics, is coming to Banff to try her hand at Saturday's triathlon. The trampoline gymnast is competing in a relay team in the Super Sprint distance with Olympians Joshua Riker-Fox (Modern Pentathlon) and Alison McKenny (Synchronized Swimming).
Olympic triathletes Brent McMahon and Lisa Mensink will be competing as individuals.
It's a good opportunity to test yourself against the best of the best, and it's something Paul Regensburg, the director of LifeSport Coaching and Events which organizes the annual Banff triathlon, hopes will inspire local athletes.
"You're basically lining up with the best in the world at the race. You don't stay with them very long, but you get to start with them. It's a pretty neat feature of our sport that you get to integrate with Olympians," he said.
Now in its third year, the Subaru Banff Triathlon is getting a few tweaks to improve traffic flow. Instead of having the bike to run transition in Central Park, it will now be in the 200 block of Banff Ave. to better allow cars to travel over the bridge.
"What that allows us to do is leave Bow Ave. and Buffalo completely open so traffic can flow around the closure and we don't bottleneck around the bridge. We think it'll go a lot smoother," Regensburg said.
The rest remains the same as previous years, with the swim in Two Jack Lake, a single lane closure on Lake Minnewanka Road to give cyclists room to get to downtown where they'll begin their run.
As always, good weather can make or break this kind of event.
"The first year it was sort of miserable and last year it was gorgeous. If we'd had a miserable year last year I think participation would have decreased," he said.
But the weather was perfect, and so far, the forecast is looking great for Saturday.
Registration is almost sold out, but a few spots remain to be one of the 750 participants. For more info on how to sign up, visit triseries.ca/Banff.
The Sprint, Super Sprint and Olympic distances return, and this year the Sprint distance is also a World Championships Qualifier, with amateurs from each age category eligible to represent Canada on the Olympic course in London in 2013.
The triathlon festivities kick off on Friday at 5 p.m. with a kids run at Central Park that's free for kids, sponsored by Danone Yogurt. MacLennan will be in attendance to help start the kids race.
The Subaru Banff Triathlon starts this Saturday at 10 a.m. and goes until 2 p.m.
Subaru Banff Triathlon
Race day Saturday, Sept. 8
Full road closures
Time: 6 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Banff Avenue from Wolf Street to Buffalo Street
Caribou Street from Bear Street to Muskrat Street
Wolf Street from Bear Street to Muskrat Street