Pharmasave Christina Lake Triathlon a success

The seventh annual Pharmasave Christina Lake Triathlon took place this past Sunday and Seth Betting from Rossland, B.C. took first overall.

Seth Bitting made the trip from Rossland to compete in the Pharmasave Christina Lake Triathlon and came in first-overall with a time of 1h 12m 44s.

This past weekend Christina Lake was abuzz with activity in the form of swimming biking and running.

On Sunday, the community hosted the seventh annual Pharmasave Christina Lake Triathlon.

The event started at 8:30 a.m. with the Kidsprint event, in which kids did a shortened version of the three-part loop.

Sage Robine, 12, took first in the girls’ category, while Keiran Marchand, 11, was quickest in the boys’ category.

In the team results, Ethen Argue and Liam McKinlay, from Grand Forks, along with Jackson Phipps from Midway, split up the swim, bike and running duties between them and took first in that Kidsprint category.

The main event began at 9:30 a.m. with a one-kilometre swim in the waters of the provincial park beach, a five-kilometre bike loop and a 2.5-kilometre run down West Lake Drive.

Seth Bitting crossed the finish line first and lead the race after the swimming event. He said that he competes in a fair number of triathlons.

“This is the first time I’ve ever done the Christina Lake triathlon,” Bitting said. “It’s a fun event and the nice thing is it’s local.”

Bitting lives in Rossland and says it’s nice to not have to go very far with the whole family.

“The course is a fun, challenging course and has great community support,” he says.

“I like the whole event but I’m strongest cycling so I like that a little more for sure.”

Bitting was impressed by the event and says it’s great to bring the whole family too.

He said that this type of triathlon was new for him.

“I’ve been doing triathlons for over 10 years, but this is the first time I’ve ever done a sprint distance triathlon. I usually do longer races – half Ironman and Ironman,” he said.

“I’ve done the Penticton Ironman, seven times, and the Hawaiian Ironman. We lived in Australia for six months and I did the Australian Ironman.”

Denise Uhrynuk, from Nelson, took first overall in the women’s category with a time of 1h24m49s.

Grand Forks and District Recreation Director John Mackey is the race director and main organizer of the event and credits his staff for getting the event on.

“I have a great staff. Lilly Bryant and Kim Johnson from our office,” he said. “They do 90 per cent of the administrative work and get this stuff set up.”

He also had a crew of three people doing the set up, on top of close to 50 volunteers doing things on the course, from flagging to sweeping the street corners. They even had volunteers in kayak and powerboats for the swim portion.

“We have great support here in the community,” he said. “It is a Christina Lake event, not a Grand Forks event. The reason we’re here is we administer the recreation out here at Christina Lake on behalf of the local rec commission.”

He said the only thing different this year was there were more kids and fewer adults.

“I think for a lot of people, it had to do with the weather,” he said. “They weren’t getting out on their bikes, they were definitely not getting out into the water this year but we couldn’t have asked for a better day.”

He said participants came from as far away as Edmonton, Calgary and the coast to do the course.

RDKB Area C Director Grace McGregor said the event is good for the community.

“It showcases Christina Lake and makes people want to be here,” McGregor said. She also supplied a grant to buy T-shirts for the volunteers. McGregor also mentioned the sponsors, which included Pharmasave, Mountain FM and Flexus Body Systems.