Triathlons can be stressful events that begin with hundreds of racers plunging into chilly lakes in a stampede of competitiveness. For the first-time competitor, this can be a bit overwhelming, which is why the Fairmont Fantastic 3 is a perfect opportunity for anyone looking to get their feet wet in the triathlon scene, or in this case, the warm mineral waters of Fairmont Hot Springs Resort.
“It’s really good for first-timers and for families,” confirmed organizer Lucas Rosnau. “That means we don’t worry so much about sanctioned distances…. let’s just make sure they’re on fun trails and people will have smiles.”
Now entering its fifth year, not only does the triathlon cater to the easier-going participants thanks to its lax distance ratios, it also offers something unique for triathletes of any proficiency as a large part of the course centres around the mountain trails surrounding the resort. A mountain bike is a necessity for this triathlon as the 10.2-kilometre bike route takes place solely on dirt trails, but Rosnau said the bike section actually seems to be the most popular part of all.
“I get a lot of returning customers, so that tells me people are enjoying themselves,” Rosnau said.
The Fairmont Fantastic 3 was started as a Fairmont Business Association (FBA) project and is strongly supported by volunteers from the Fairmont and District Lions Club. Rosnau said about 30 participants take part each year, ranging from serious athletes to first-timers and families just looking to take in the sights and sounds of the wilderness.
“We were thinking of showcasing the beauty of Fairmont,” Rosnau said. “A wilderness triathlon seemed like one way to give people a tour on foot, on bike and in water of all things that are beautiful in Fairmont.”
Children are welcome to take part, however kids under 12 must be accompanied by an adult at all times while on the course.
The triathlon starts at 10 a.m. on Sunday (July 1) with a 600-metre swim in the Fairmont mineral pools before moving onto the 10.2-km bike ride on the trails. A 5.1-km trail run finishes off the event, and each and every competitor is given their fair congratulations at the finish line. Spectators are welcome to attend, and proceeds from the event go towards the FBA and the wide range of community activities they plan each year.
Tickets are $49 for individuals, $99 for teams and are available up until 9 a.m. the day of, or online at www.fairmont-hotsprings.com. The triathlon also runs into public Canada Day festivities at the resort, which feature a barbecue, a beer garden, kids rock climbing, archery, bouncy castles, face painting and fireworks at dusk.
“It’s really the whole community getting together to have this fun adventure… I think it’s more of an adventure than a race for most people,” Rosnau said. “It’s one more excuse to get off your couch and come see the community Canada Day events.”