While London is home to a number of first-class athletic facilities, finding a venue that can house swimming, cycling and running can be a challenge.
That struggle is how one man’s Denfield property became home to the triathlon events for the 2018 Ontario Summer Games.
Sitting at the back of Mike Radcliffe’s property is a gravel pit turned man-made lake that’s similar to a quarry.
“It’s spring-fed and gravel based, so water — good quality water — just comes up from the bottom,” said Radcliffe.
He says because the water moves around so much they have very little to do when it comes to maintenance.
“It even has white caps in storms,” he said.
A few years ago a group of triathletes asked if they could use the 40-acre lake to train, said Radcliffe.
“I’m totally fine with it, it’s kind of fun to watch the lake being used. I think through that group my name was thrown out of the Ontario Summer Games,” he said.
“They approached me and obviously I’m okay with it.”
The individual triathlon was held Friday morning, while the relay event goes Saturday at 9 a.m.
“They will all start in a line. I have a boat launch area where they’re going to go in. Staff put buoys out in the water where the athletes will swim out and around them then come back out,” said Radcliffe.
“The transition port is where they’ll get on their bikes and get onto the road,” he said.
Radcliffe was given the opportunity to present the medals to the winners of the individual event Friday.
He’ll present medals to the winning relay triathletes at 11 a.m. Saturday.
Aside from the triathlon, 20 other sporting events are happening across the city this holiday long weekend.
Athletes between the ages of 12 and 18 are competing in all types of sports. Everything from table tennis to field hockey to basketball.
More than 3500 athletes, coaches and managers have descended on the Forest City for the four-day event.
Events are taking place all over the city, but the bulk is happening at Western University.
For a full list of sports and their locations click here.
For many of the young athletes, this is their first crack at a multi-sport competition.