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Athletes go rogue for revamped Crescent Beach Triathlon

Competitors head into the water during the 2006 Crescent Beach Triathlon. The event was last held in 2007. - File photo
Competitors head into the water during the 2006 Crescent Beach Triathlon. The event was last held in 2007.
— image credit: File photo

The long-dormant Crescent Beach Triathlon is back… sort of.

The event – for 25 years a summer staple on the South Surrey sports calendar – has not been staged since 2007, but organizers have rekindled the event as a “grassroots invitational” and plan to hold the event this Sunday, Aug. 11, starting at 8:40 a.m.

The race – which features a 1.5-km swim, 40-km bike ride and 10-km run – is free, and is not a sanctioned triathlon. Instead, it’s being billed as a “DIY, race-style workout” in which participants are simply asked to show up and train as a group.

According to race organizers, an official triathlon would cost about $30,000 to stage, and there are other road blocks, too. The event’s official webpage states that “the City of Surrey proved too onerous in their requirements/demands” for the portions of the race that take place along city roads.

The swim portion of the event will be much the same as previous incarnations of the Crescent Beach Triathlon, in which participants swim north from the beach near the end of Sullivan Street, past the pier to markers near Blackie Spit, and back.

The bike and run portions, however, are significantly different. Because the race is informal, no streets will be closed, so the routes for both have been altered to include as few traffic stops and train crossings as possible.

The bike course consists of two legs – A and B – into White Rock and back. Riders set off from the transition zone, at McBride Avenue and Sullivan Street.

The 10-km run leaves from the transition zone, moves up through Blackie Spit, then past the Crescent Beach Yacht Club, then southwest parallel to the train tracks, before heading back to the transition zone.

A full route map, and all instructions, are posted at www.crescentbeachtriathlon.org

Participants can also compete solely in the swim portion of the race – in an event being called the Crescent Beach Open Water Swim Classic.

Volunteers will be posted along the routes to keep an eye out for those taking part, though participants are expected to obey all traffic laws and rules of the road.

Organizers plan to stage a full, sanctioned triathlon in 2014, but are nevertheless enthused to have the race back this year, even informally.

“Regardless of the outcome, we will never let the athletic-fun-loving spirit of our community be depressed by overzealous, unaccommodating big-government, and we will be back stronger in 2014 – this is truly a grassroots effort now,” it states on the official website.

The Crescent Beach Triathlon was cancelled in 2008 due to low registration numbers. Though it nearly returned in 2009 in conjunction with the World Police and Fire Games, it was cancelled after organizers of both events clashed. It has not been held since.

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