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Celebrating the 10th May Mini in style

On May 30, a milestone year will be celebrated for one of the premiere sporting events in the Lakeland.
With the Centennial Centre becoming a part of the annual event, last year’s May Mini Triathlon was the first time for two transition points in the race.
With the Centennial Centre becoming a part of the annual event, last year’s May Mini Triathlon was the first time for two transition points in the race.

On May 30, a milestone year will be celebrated for one of the premiere sporting events in the Lakeland.

Since 2001, the May Mini Triathlon has been organized and enjoyed by athletes not just from the local sporting community, but also the provincial community. Race director Chris McCord was planning on competing in a triathlon herself, but there was nothing locally that had an appropriate size.

“Somebody then suggested to me ‘why not have one here?'and that's how it started,” said McCord. “Cold Lake had a full one, and it definitely wasn't one I wanted to tackle for my first one. So we scaled it down so any weekend warrior could do it, or a family could do it for fun.”

While this will be the May Mini's 10th year in existence, it was only last year where the Bonnyville & District Centennial Centre entered the organization process. The biggest change with the multiplex's inclusion was the logistics, from including a second transition station to shuttling some equipment from the Bonnyville Swimming Pool.

Even with the alterations, McCord felt that last year's course was the best course ever used in the event's history. That's why the exact same course will be used again this year.

Because the May Mini will be celebrating 10 years, there will also be some added perks. When contestants pick up their race packages the evening before, there will a $12.95 pasta buffet in the lounge.

“Normally we have a tee-shirt and package, so we're going to try to make that fancier so that it might be something that people want to hang on to,” said McCord jokingly. “We have entertainment every year, but we'll see if we can't get something a little bigger…That's one of the major differences having the Centennial Centre, is that we can offer a little more quality.”

Categories available for participants include the sprint or a Try A Tri categories.

The sprint will have the same specifications as an Alberta Triathlon Association sanctioned race, complete with a 750-metre swim, and 20-kilometre bike, and a five-kilometre run. Beginning with 30 lengths of the swimming pool, it moves to the bike that includes two loops around the Jessie Lake trails, and the run starts and finishes at the Centennial Centre. The try a tri is more condensed with only a 300-metre swim (12 lengths), a 10-kilometre bike, and a three-kilometre run.

In comparison to the first years, the course now has a shorter swim and a longer bike ride and run.

“Some people were relieved that they had 10 less lengths to do,” said McCord. “The route is better because we always had issues, regardless of the number of volunteers that were on the course, somebody would take a wrong turn, and I don't think it happened last year. It's pretty self-explanatory.”

About 45 volunteers will also be needed, but McCord wasn't too concerned about finding them considering the Lakeland 2010 Alberta Winter Games found 3,000 volunteers.

For those thinking that tackling all three disciplines is too much, there is also the option of entering a team. There will be five divisions that individuals or teams can enter, including the corporate division that is new this year.

For anybody thinking some extra training is necessary, the Centennial Centre will be holding a Triathlon Training Bootcamp from April 26 to May 22, and it will cover aspects of all three disciplines, as well as strength training.

Registrants who enter before April 23 can qualify for the early bird, which allows an individual to enter for $40, or a team for $60. If prospective participants miss the early bird, fees increase to $50 and $70 respectively up until the May 16 registration deadline.

Information on the event is on the entry form that is available in the Centennial Centre's main lobby, or online at the C2 or Town of Bonnyville websites.