Billed as both healthy and community-building, a new event will be rolled out for this year’s celebration of Healthy Communities Month in Woolwich.
Residents aged three and up are being encouraged to “Try a Tri” next month, a ‘tri’ in this case being a mini-triathlon. In this type of event, participants are put to the challenge of swimming, cycling and running (or walking) for an afternoon as part of the April activities planned by Woolwich Healthy Communities.
The event includes three segments: a swim that is 10 laps of the WMC pool or 10 minutes of swimming (whichever comes first), a 10-km bike ride around Elmira (three laps of a 3.3-km route) and a 4.5-km run or walk (10 laps around the EDSS track). Participants are encouraged to participate at the level at which they feel comfortable, said Mark Bauman, a Woolwich councillor who has been part of the group organizing the event.
Among those gearing up for the occasion are Elmira resident Catie Weber and her two sons. They’re getting ready to lace up their running shoes and strap on their bike helmets in preparation for the first annual “Try a Tri,” to be held Apr. 18 at the Woolwich Memorial Centre.
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For Weber’s kids, the event will be a little less strenuous. Her sons Owen and Andrew will be a part of the six-and-under group, whose challenge is to swim one length of the leisure pool, bike half of a loop around the arena and run or walk one third of a loop around the arena.
Bauman also intends to participate. Although this will be his first attempt at a triathlon, he’s not overly concerned.
“I think the majority of people – if they put their mind to it – can do it,” he said. “You don’t have to be a runner, a swimmer or a biker to enter; you just have to want to have fun.”
If the challenge seems too much for a single participant, or they simply want to participate in the event with friends, the committee is allowing registrants to put together a relay team for the triathlon, allowing three participants to each take on a portion of the event.
“Participation is the key word, not competition,” said Bauman with a laugh. “I am certainly not in it to win it. We want to encourage people to get out and have some fun with their families.”
To register as a participant, visit www.woolwich.ca/register, or stop by the Woolwich Memorial Centre in person. The fee for adults is $20; children will be able to participate for free thanks to a donation from the St. Jacobs Optimist Club. Participants are encouraged to collect donations from sponsors and the money raised at the fundraiser will go towards both Woolwich Healthy Communities and the WMC.
“When we (the planning committee) were talking about it, it just seemed to make sense to kill two birds with one stone,” explained Bauman. “This event does both of those things.”
Weber said she and the kids have not done too much preparation for the big day yet, but she knows they will enjoy themselves no matter the result.
“I have only taken the bike out once this year so far,” she said. “But it’s such a good way to get the community together and get people to get active. I’m not worried.”