Bright’s Grove hosting triathlon this weekend

Athletes will take to the water of Lake Huron in Bright’s Grove as they swim, run and bike in the 37th annual Bluewater Triathlon and Duathlon on July 28-29 Photo courtesy, Bluewater Triathlon and Duathlon.

Jake Romphf

The cardio-crazed will be dripping with sweat and lake water when the 37th annual Bluewater Triathlon and Duathlon returns this weekend.

The event is the only competition of its kind in Lambton and every race starts and finishes at Bright’s Grove school, said organizer Ken Walker.

“It’s one of the longest lasting triathlons in Ontario,” he said. “It’s nice that there’s a local race. We’ve got some good local athletes here.”

The duathlon involves running and biking while the triathletes run, swim and cycle.

More than 300 adults are expected to compete Saturday, July 28 in Olympic and sprint distances as individuals and in three-person relay teams, in which each member does part of the event.

Olympic distance triathlons include a 1.5-kilometre swim, 40 km cycle and 10 km run. Sprinters do a 400m swim, 18km cycle and 4km run. Duathlons cover the same distances.

Walker said about 30% of participants are high-level athletes who come from all over Ontario and Michigan, and occasionally as far as British Colombia. The rest are local.

“I’ve always been impressed with the number of Lambton County athletes that come out and give it a go,” he said.

On Sunday, about 120 children take the stage for the Ironkid Triathlon. Competitors in the nine-and-under division do half the distance of the 10-and-over group.

A unique feature of Bluewater is the Lake Huron swim, Walker said.

“There aren’t many races that are done in the Great Lakes.”

Walker said each Olympic distance race is a chase format, with women given 12-minute and 16-minute head starts in duathlon and triathlon respectively.

About 40 volunteers will be on hand in kayaks and on street corners directing the racers.

All the proceeds support the daily operation and outreach programs of St. John-in-the-Wilderness Anglican Church in Bright’s Grove.