Close to 1,200 local, national and international triathletes of all ages and stages will be competing in the 32nd Pushor Mitchell Apple Triathlon taking place in Kelowna this coming weekend. Seven countries will be represented by 32 elite men and 18 elite women in Sunday’s ITU 2014 Kelowna PATCO Sprint Triathlon Premium Pan American Cup.
Amongst these athletes will be Canada’s Paula Findlay, 25, the only female athlete to have ever won both the Junior Elite and Elite races at the Pushor Mitchell Apple Triathlon.
As of Monday a total of 740 racers have signed up for the individual age group sprint and Olympic distances, the sprint business challenge relay and the Olympic relay on Sunday.
Calgary’s Ray Colliver, 81, the recipient of the gold medal in the 80-84 age group for the Olympic distance in London (UK) in the ITU 2013 Grand Final, will be the most senior participant in the Olympic distance race this weekend.
In the junior elite events, Calgary’s Russell Pennock,19, who recently won the Canadian Junior Triathlon Championship title, will be defending his crown in this fourth and final race of the 2014 National Junior Series. The junior elite race, which has 65 athletes registered, is also the B.C. Provincial Championships. Other signed-up participants for Saturday include 282 youngsters between the ages of eight and 19 for the Kids of Steel and U-16 races. Accepting the challenge of a new sport, 75 athletes will also be doing their first Try-a-Tri and more than 50 swimmers will compete in the 1.5km and 5km Apple Open Water Swim.
There are 1,100 volunteers that will support the athletes through the three day event. More than 250 volunteer positions are still available for set-up, truck drivers, body-marking, swim course support, run and bike marshals, transition, finish line support as well as water station attendants.
Volunteers can sign up online at www.appletriathlon.com or call the Kelowna Apple Triathlon Society (KATS) office at (250) 763-5287 to register as a volunteer.
The Pushor Mitchell Apple Triathlon starts on Friday with the Gennext Aquathon (swim-run-swim), Apple Peel Undies Fun Run and a 1.5 kilometre Kelowna Apple Open Water Swim held at Tugboat Beach. It continues on Saturday with Kids of Steel, the Try-a-Tri, U-16 event, Junior Elites, the Can-Am Series Paratriathlete Sprint Race and a 5 kilometre open water swim. Sunday sees the Sprint and Olympic distances for teams, age-groupers and the highlight event, the 2014 Kelowna PATCO Sprint Triathlon Premium Pan American Cup
More information on the weekend’s events is available at www.appletriathlon.com.