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Tri-ing times

Another wave of athletes will converge in Squamish on Sunday (July 11) to take part in the second huge event of the summer of 2004.

Another wave of athletes will converge in Squamish on Sunday (July 11) to take part in the second huge event of the summer of 2004.

More than 400 athletes will be bringing swimming trunks, running shoes and high-performance bicycles, along with some finely-tuned bodies, to compete in the seventh annual Squamish Triathlon - a Memorial to Bob McIntosh.

The event, like the Test of Metal, has sold out completely, and now has 52 anxious triathletes on the waiting list.

The triathlon has grown in popularity over the past years, and organizers are proud to point out that the event is also part of the Tri B.C. race series, as the seventh event on the race calendar.

"It's a feather in our cap to be part of the Tri B.C. series," said race director Peter Hotston. "It obviously brings more people in and it proves that we can run a quality event."

In order for a triathlon to be selected in the series, it must have a proven level of quality, a good location and must encompass the official Olympic-sized distance. In the Squamish Triathlon. Athletes first start the race with a 1.5-km swim in Alice Lake, followed by a 40-km cycle into Paradise Valley and back, before pounding the pavement of Brackendale and the Cheekye Fan trail for the final, leg-burning 10 kilometres.

"People will see many high-end athletes," said Hotston, "plus a lot of people who will be doing it for their own fitness and health - which is quite encouraging.

Last year, the highly competitive race was won by Scott Curry of Waterloo, Ont. with a time of 1:58:15. It was Curry's first crack at the event.

Gord Addison, the top Squamish competitor, finished the swim, bike and run race in 2:02:15, almost five minutes slower than the previous year. Addison noted that the cold weather was the prime factor which resulted in slower times for the entire field. Despite his slower, Addison was able to match his third-place finish from 2002. The women's champion was Tiffany Evans from North Vancouver, who completed the 51.5-km course in 2:09:15, good enough for a 7th place finish overall.

The prime reason that the event exists is to honour well-respected triathlete, father and Squamish resident Bob McIntosh, whose life was tragically taken on New Year's Eve in 1997.

"Not only did Bob always want to see a triathlon in Squamish, he wanted to promote the sport for local people - and I think that has happened. I know that has happened," said Hotston. "He was a great mentor to local people. Our aims were to honour Bob's memory and to raise money for scholarships."

The raising of scholarship money has also happened, and last year three Squamish students, Max Roy, Lori Woodman and Leah Richardson, were each awarded a $1500 Robert W. McIntosh Memorial Scholarship for their outstanding efforts in athletics, academics and school service.

The Memorial to Bob McIntosh is well known as a gateway to triathlons for Squamish residents, which is another feather in the cap of the triathlon.

"Because it's a memorial for Bob McIntosh, it still strikes a chord with many locals," Hotston said. "It's such a strong event because of the many quality volunteers who support it."

Organizers are still in need of volunteers. If interested, please contact Anne Peters at 604-898-9656.

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