It’s a race that almost didn’t happen. The Magrath Triathlon was nearly cancelled after sign up numbers were low. But after a late surge of entries the small town of Magrath pulled off a great Triathlon for the 11th straight year. Shawna Strong’s been helping coordinate the event for the past nine year and says the small town race brings in a unique mix of competitors.
“There’s groups from Calgary, Toronto. We’ve had competitors as far away as from Atlanta Georgia in some of the years that we’ve done it. it’s pretty amazing to see people come to this town of 2000 people.”
The Magrath Triathlon was appealing to a wide range of skill levels. Both the hardcore and the casual racer, could test their ability with either a sprint distance, or an Olympic distance.
Most of the athletes trained in all aspects before the race, but for some the thought of a long distance swim through open water, was a little a little intimidating. Jon Macneil usually does the bike portion of the Triathlon, but is competing in the full Triathlon this weekend. Macneil hopes race volunteers take the appropriate precautions saying,
“I’m a little nervous about going in the water there. I’m not the best of swimmers, so I’m hoping they do a head count so the same number come out that go in.”
A team as loyal as any to the Magrath Triathlon is the healing mochas. The team of fifteen has been coming to Magrath for the Triathlon the past eight years and say they had to keep the tradition alive,
“When we heard that it was potentially not going to happen this year we took a rampage to get everybody we knew, any stranger, or anybody else and we’re just like, you got to sign up for Magrath.”
Finishing a long race is a fantastic feeling, but at Magrath it’s particularly sweet, says Race Director Shawna Strong,
“We have great Butterhorns at the end of the race, made by a local lady. And actually to be honest that really draws a lot of people here.”
A sentiment echoed by the Mochas,
“Oh! they’re brilliant! That’s why we drive two and a half hours to get here. Those Butterhorns are better than Scottish Shortbread.”
Organizers plan to hold the Triathlon again next year.