August 17, 2018 8:42 pm
Updated: August 17, 2018 8:45 pm

Apple Triathlon organizers closely monitoring air quality

Apple Triathlon organizers, from left, Matt Canzer (society chairman), Susie Ernsting (race director) and Kim Van Bruggen (CEO, Triathlon Canada.

Global News
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Organizers for the Apple Triathlon are hoping for the best, but are also preparing for the worst.

With smoky skies hovering over Kelowna, there’s a chance that this weekend’s event, or part of it, could be cancelled due to health concerns. As of Friday afternoon, the provincial air quality health index was rated at seven, or a high health risk. The event takes place August 18-19.

READ MORE: Apple Triathlon in Kelowna this weekend may be cancelled, smoky skies cited as health risk

On Thursday, triathlon organizers said one of three scenarios will take place, all pending the air quality health index (AQHI):

  • AQHI 9 to 10+: Event delayed or cancelled if conditions don’t improve.
  • AQHI 7 to 8: Event delayed or shortened.
  • AQHI 7 and below: No modification.

“We’re monitoring the air quality health index very closely. It changes by the hour. It’s monitored every hour,” said Apple Triathlon Society chairman Matt Canzer. “We’re consulting for the Chief Medical Officer for Interior Health. So we are monitoring it; it is changing.

“It was low as four earlier this morning, it did climb up to a nine at some point today. In that range, we are going to be watching it carefully and making any modifications we need to along the way.”

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READ MORE: Super League Triathlon debuts in Penticton

Organizers added that regarding Sunday’s national championship, officials will make the call one hour before racetime.

Race director Susie Ernsting 1,400 athletes will be in Kelowna this weeked, adding “we are sold out and we are pretty excited.”

Saturday events include Try-A-Tri, a 300-metre, 8.5-kilometre bike and 1.7-km run. Sunday’s events include the sprint triathlon, standard triathlon, standard relay triathlon and national standard triathlon championships.

Also Friday, Apple Triathlon organizers were asked about the Super League Triathlon in Penticton. That race is also taking place this weekend.

The Apple Triathlon organizers said they’ve been “working really closely with Triathlon B.C., and the race organizer to ensure that doesn’t happen again next year. If they do decide to host, they know where the national championship weekend is and they won’t be able to plan their race on the same weekend again.”

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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