Pay no attention to the (substantiated) rumours of earlier this year, the Self Transcendence Triathlon and Duathlon is coming back for 2016.
Race director Sumitra McMurchy confirmed the news following the successful 36th running of the event on Aug. 2 at Elk Lake.
McMurchy is part of a very small crew of Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team members who organize the race, and are also disciples from the Oak Bay-based Sri Chinmoy temple. McMurchy has been involved with the triathlon since 1980. However, the 87-year-old McMurchy, and her crew, are slowly stepping back from the year-long duties of organizing the triathlon.
“We were unsure [earlier this year] but we received a great lot of help from 20 members of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team, from all over North America, and they’re committed to coming back.”
The Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team is international and runs a variety of race events around the world.
Next year’s race in Victoria is set for July 31.
Despite the fact the triathlon is a lot of work, McMurchy said she and her fellow organizers never considered scaling back the race’s popular Finish Line Cafe, a lavish buffet of proteins, fruits and carbs, including fresh-baked goods and gluten-free pancakes cooked to order.
“We never put this race on thinking it was a business or to make money out of it,” McMurchy said. “Some asked me, where did all these [decorative] flowers come from, and I didn’t have an answer. Sri Chinmoy always believed people should be well fed, it’s part of the hospitality. Take away the flowers and the food, and it’s not the Self Transcendence.”
The race depends on about 100 volunteers.
“We have so many volunteers who come back, year after year, it’s truly amazing,” McMurchy said. “We have people, including paramedic volunteers, who schedule their vacation around it. It’s the race that doesn’t die.”