Here’s a problem: You want to compete in a triathlon, but, for whatever reason, you don’t like water.
What do you do?
Here’s the solution: compete in the second annual Dry Tri at Takhini Hot Springs.
“I started off as a triathlete years ago, but like many triathletes, or would-be triathletes, swimming was a real barrier for some reason — it’s a challenge for people,” said Ian Parker, one of the triathlon’s main organizers. “We tried to create — in a joking way — an anti-swimming tri. It’s a triathlon but you don’t have to get wet … you don’t have to gasp for air with lungs full of water.”
In the swim-free triathlon, individuals and teams began the race with a four-kilometre trail run, then mounted their mountain bikes for a 14-kilometre trail ride and went on to the final stage, an eight-kilometre trail run.
“It’s a new experience for me, I enjoyed it a lot,” said Stephen Waterreus, who won the individual men’s event with a time of 1:28:04.
“I used to do the occasional triathlon but I hate swimming, so this is perfect. Yeah, getting in the water is not something I enjoy, so run-bike-run: no problem.
“I was out late last night drinking. So I thought this was going to be a casual little run in the park — I had no idea the course was going to be so tough,” added Waterreus, who fell from first to third during the mountain biking leg of the race, but worked his way back into first in the final running stage.
“I didn’t think I would see them again, but I was happy to.”
“It was painful. It’s hard getting off that run and onto a mountain bike because you need so much strength for your mountain biking,” said the individual women’s winner, Catherine Fussell, who crossed the finish line with a time of 1:49:29.
“I’m totally happy. I’m surprised. I’m glad it’s over. I’m looking forward to the party,” added Fussell, who recently won the Whitehorse Triathlon, on June 1.
One perk that teams in the Dry Tri had over those racing as individuals — besides not having to go all 26 kilometres alone — is that they got to have funny (or even a little dirty) team names.
In the men’s teams division, Rusty Nuts swung into the winner’s circle with a time of 1:28:56, ahead of Pass the Salted Nuts, who had a time of 1:30:22. The enthusiastic Muff Divers team came third with a time of 1:36:57.
“It was based on Joel (Macht) … who did the Haines to Haines bike relay,” said Parker, who was on Pass the Salted Nuts with Macht.
“During the race he was so tired that when he offered a fellow rider some salted nuts it came out wrong … Not everyone thought it was funny.”
According to Parker, the Muff Divers were named after a shot that a team member was drinking on his fiftieth birthday.
Adding to the string of successes by teams with funny names, the women’s teams division was won by Blunt Girl and Chronic, who finished first with a time of 1:47:47.
Top three women: Catherine Fussell 1:49:29; Laura Salman 1:54:11; Carolyn Coombs 2:03:12
Masters Women: Joyce Kashman 2:19:04
Top three men: Stephen Waterreus 1:28:04; Brad Barton 1:36:42; Greg Schlacter 1:40;12
Masters Men: Bryan Craven 2:15:15
Men’s teams: Rusty Nuts (Jesse Reams, Dan White) 1:28:56
Women’s teams: Blunt Girl and Chronic (Monika Melnychuk, Katherine Sandiford) 1:47:47
Mixed teams: Debbie Does Joe Dirt (Graham Riske, Amy Riske) 1:39:29