On Sunday morning, 130 participants swam, biked, and ran their way to the finish line for the annual Makin’ It Happen triathlon, which is held annually on Mother’s Day.
For Steph Hall, crossing this finish line also crossed off a goal she set earlier this year.
“I’m turning 40 this year and I wanted to do something at the beginning of the year to sign up to do something that was physically challenging, but also mentally challenging,” said Hall.
The mother of two said completing her first triathlon was an amazing feeling.
“This race is geared towards beginners, absolutely. It’s an unintimidating environment for people to come out when they’ve never done a race before,” said Tammy Fleming, one of the organizers of the Makin’ It Happen event.
For Dana Kripiki, that couldn’t be any more true.
“The reason I joined was to learn how to swim,” said Kripiki. “I kind of learned. The group was supportive. They let me use a flutter board when I needed to and I was able to finish the 200 metres, so that was a huge deal for me.”
Stories like Kripiki’s are what drove Marlene Antoniuk, a dedicated volunteer at the Just Tri-It triathlon, a race formed to introduce women to the sport.
After fighting lymphoma cancer for six years, Antoniuk passed away in 2010.
Following her passing, the Just Tri-It event passed the race portion of their program over to Antoniuk’s family.
“She battled cancer with a spirit of a triathlete, very courageous,” said Fleming, Antoniuk’s daughter.
Fleming said her mom loved the event, as she was the smiling face at the registration table.
“I think she would’ve thought it was pretty great,” said Fleming. “I think she’d think it’s cool we’re still doing this in her memory and providing this opportunity for people.”
Participants completed either a 200-metre swim, six-kilometre bike, two-kilometre run or a 500-metre swim, 12-kilometre bike and four-kilometre run.
The money raised from the event went towards the Pink Wig Foundation, which helps provide financial assistance to cancer patients.