Following a two-year hiatus, including a forced cancellation in 2018 because of poor air quality, the Apple Triathlon returned to Kelowna on Saturday.
Approximately 1,200 athletes are in the Central Okanagan to swim, cycle and run in the 36th annual event.
This year, however, it’s on a different weekend.
“The event has always been held on the third weekend in August,” said race director Susie Ernsting.
“This year, we decided in the best hopes of having a race, we worked with the city and were able to come up with this weekend in July. It’s a little bit of a different weekend for us, but we’ll take it, as long as we can get a great race in.”
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The break didn’t dampen or break the event’s community spirit, as witnessed by the 400 or so volunteers that make this triathlon possible.
“Because it’s immensely fun,” Kathy Wilton said on why she volunteers. “And it’s great to catch our athletes, and athletes that come from all over the world.”
The famous race has attracted all sorts of triathletes: from first-timers dipping their toes in the try-a-tri category, to junior elite and professional athletes.
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One of those athletes was Aiden Doig, who travelled from Saskatchewan to participate in the race.
“I came here last year, but the race was cancelled,” Doig said after completing a 300-metre swim, 8.5-kilometre bike and 1.7-km run on Saturday.
“Beautiful place for a triathlon,” said proud parents Sean and Deanna Doig. “First time here for myself; it’s a beautiful city.”
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Sunday’s events feature a sprint triathlon (750-metre swim, 18.6-km bike and 5-km run) and a standard triathlon (1.5-km swim, 37.2-km bike and 10-km run) plus a standard relay triathlon.
For more about the Apple Triathlon, click here.
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As the event is taking in downtown Kelowna, there are several road closures throughout the city.
City Park beach visitors and boaters should be aware that there will be swimmers in Okanagan Lake between City Park and the Downtown Marina on both Saturday and Sunday from approximately 5 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Motorists are asked to use caution and keep an eye out for athletes prior to and during this event and are encouraged to plan their routes ahead of time to avoid delays.
Downtown is anticipated to be busy throughout the weekend. Public parking is available at the Library Plaza Parkade at 1360 Ellis Street, Memorial Parkade at 1420 Ellis St. and Chapman Parkade at 345 Lawrence Avenue.
Below are the closures.
THURSDAY TO MONDAY
- Kerry Park and the north east section of City Park (adjacent to Abbott Street) will be closed from Thursday, July 4 at 6 a.m. to Monday, July 8 at 6 p.m.
- The first parking bay in the City Park parking lot adjacent to the tennis courts will be closed from Thursday, July 4 at 6 a.m. until Monday, July 8 at 6 p.m.
FRIDAY TO SUNDAY
Road closure and parking restriction
- Bernard Avenue from Abbott Street to Water Street will be closed from Friday, July 5 at 6 a.m. to Sunday, July 7 at 8 p.m. Street parking on both sides of Bernard Avenue from The Sails to Water Street will be restricted.
- Kerry Park parking lot will be closed from Saturday, July 6 at 6 a.m. to Sunday, July 7 at 8 p.m.
Downtown road closures (5 a.m. – 1 p.m.)
- Abbott Street from Leon Avenue to Bernard Avenue
- Bernard Avenue from Abbott Street to Glenmore Drive
- Water Street from Lawrence Avenue to Bernard Avenue
- Lawrence Avenue from Abbott Street to Water Street
- The intersection on Ellis Street at Bernard Avenue will be open to transit traffic only
- Motorists can also expect traffic delays to take place on Gordon Drive at the Bernard Avenue intersection as vehicles will only be allowed through after participants have passed
- Motorists are encouraged to use Clement Avenue for access in and out of the North End
Glenmore and Dilworth area single lane traffic (5 a.m. – 1 p.m.)
- Glenmore Drive from Bernard Avenue to Summit Drive – single lane traffic both directions
- Westbound traffic on Summit Drive from Dilworth Road to Glenmore Drive
- Southbound traffic on Dilworth Road from Cassair Road to Summit Drive
- Eastbound traffic on Rifle Road from Longhill Road to Cassair Road
- Southbound traffic from Valley Road from Cross Road to Summit Drive. Vehicles travelling south on Valley Road must turn right to Summit Drive.
- Access to City Park will be restricted from 5 a.m. until 1 p.m.
On Sunday, July 7, route 2 will remain on detour, with additional significant detours and stop closures on routes 18 (Glenmore) and 10 (North Rutland). Riders should plan ahead.