There will be two triathlons at Elk Lake this summer after a new triathlon is emerging in place of the now defunct Self Transcendence Triathlon.
Joe Dixon and Angie Woodhead are the couple behind Dynamic Race Events’ newest race, the Elk Lake Triathlon, which will happen on Sunday, Aug. 6, following the Self Transcendence tradition of holding the race on the Sunday of B.C. Day long weekend.
The couple made the Elk Lake Triathlon announcement official in late February and the feedback has been fantastic, Dixon said.
“Whenever we run into people from the triathlon community and tell them we’re running this race they are excited, and we are excited,” Dixon said.
Dixon knows a thing or two about triathlon, as he was the race director for Ironman Canada from 2006 to 2010 in Penticton. He is also the new race director for the TC 10K. He and Woodhead now live in Cordova Bay – Woodhead has been in Greater Victoria 20 years – while Dixon moved here three years ago.
Dynamic runs a series of triathlons around B.C. including two in Cultus Lake, one in Westwood Lake (Nanaimo) and one inOliver.
The Elk Lake Triathlon will offer the standard distance (also known as Olympic) of a 1.5-kilometre swim in Elk Lake, a 40km bike through West Saanich and Central Saanich with a turnaround at the airport, and a 10km run loop around Elk and Beaver lakes. They will also offer the sprint distance (half the standard), duathlon (run-bike-run) and ‘aqua-bike,’ a first for the area, in which athletes end the race after the swim and bike stages.
“We’ve had good meetings with Saanich Police, the District of Saanich, and CRD Parks,” Dixon said.
It helps that Dynamic will use the same routes for the bike and run though they’re studying the swim, which is a simple triangle for either the 1.5km or 750-metre distances and could be altered. And while the bike course is the same this year it will also be studied and could be tweaked in the future. So could the transition area, though the swim start will very likely remain at Hamsterly beach in perpetuity.
“It won’t be quite the grassroots race that it was but it will still be that community oriented, friendly race,” Dixon said.
When Self Transcendence announced it would end, there was interest from at least two other triathlon groups in town intaking over the race. The couple behind Dynamic knew it would be a matter of submitting first and began putting together their application in to take over the date and permit to CRD Parks back in December of 2015.
Triathlon has a rich tradition at Elk Lake as the much longer distance Ironman 70.3 Victoria triathlon, formerly known as the New Balance and Subaru half-Ironman, is June 4.
That race has been around since the late ’90s.
One thing Dynamic has already changed is adding bringing on sponsors for the naming rights to each course of the race, the 2xu swim course, the Trek Victoria bike course and the Limitless Training run course.
“This has been a real gateway triathlon for so many people who got started in the sport over the years,” Dixon said. “There was a time when there were very few triathlons and when [the Self Transcendence] triathlon drew up to 900 people.”
In the spring of 2015, the organizers of the Self Transcendence said that would be the final year but they came back for one more in 2016, which turned out to be the finale. Dixon said he’s been in touch with the former race organizer, Sumitra McMurchy, and has her blessing.
There are other changes, such as durable silicon swim caps, and what Dixon believes will be a worthy goody bag of swag for the participating athletes with custom medals.
The price is also in line with the past triathlon, while, most importantly, there will be a pancake breakfast, courtesy of theLions.
“We didn’t want to come in and boost the price 10 to 15 per cent right off the bat, and we’ve heard about the food that was there, we’re making sure that’s still a big part of it.”
It’s still a perfect place newcomers to get started in their first event. There will also be opportunities to form relay teams, as before.
For early bird rates and other information, see dynamicraceevents.com/elk-lake-triathlon.