The classic Tinman Triathlon was held this Tuesday in Elmira, bringing in hundreds of students from 18 different schools to participate in the longstanding EDSS tradition. Biking, swimming and running, the students competed purely for the bragging rights, the Tinman trophy – hand-crafted, it appears, out of actual tin cans, or to set some personal bests.
With almost 300 students taking part from high schools across the region and beyond, the competition was certainly going to be tough. And while EDSS didn’t quite win the trophy this year, nobody seems too concerned with that, as the event is really all about having fun.
“They don’t qualify for anything with it,” explained EDSS teacher and Tinman organizer Thuy Leu, about the participants. “It’s just fun. A lot of the kids feel like this is kind of a great way to end the school year too.”
The event brought scores of students out onto the streets and trail ways of Elmira on Tuesday. Unlike its cousin, the Ironman Triathlon, the Tinman was a bit more contained, with a 375m swim, 15km bike ride and 5km run. Participants also had the option taking on the Tinman as a relay event in teams of three, with each team member covering one leg of the triathlon.
“Our goal is to have them do a few relays and then to be able to do one year all on their own. Usually the juniors do more relays because they’re just apprehensive about doing all three legs. But by the time they get to senior, they do try it on their own,” said Leu.
“It’s amazing how much they see that they could do way more than they thought they could. So we get a lot of quotes at the end of the race saying, ‘I can’t believe I just did that!’” added Leu, adding being able to complete the Tinman really is a great achievement.
The swimming portion of the triathlon was held at the Woolwich Memorial Centre pool. From there, participant hop on their bikes and head towards the Kissing Bridge Trail from just before the Northfield area towards Floradale and back. The running sections took participants on a tour through the Elmira Birdland subdivision, said Leu.
“So they go Whippoorwill, Barnswallow and then head back. They do go quite far. It’s all in Birdland, so it’s quite safe. The route was made far before I started with this, so it’s always been a very nice little run for them,” said Leu.
The Tinman will be returning next year, and Leu is encouraging anyone sitting on the fence to jump in and participate. EDSS has a dedicated Tinman team that will help novice and expert athletes alike train before next year’s event.
“I would say find yourself two other friends and join a relay,” recommended Leu. “Like, all you have to do is do one of the legs and you’ll have so much fun and you’ll be amazed as to what you’re capable of doing.”