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Swim, Bike or Run to the ITU Triathlon!

by Michelle Ferguson

Edmonton is about to be overrun…swam… and then cycled with triathletes. From the world’s best to local first-timers, hundreds will put their minds and bodies to the test at the ITU World Triathlon Edmonton in Hawrelak Park. The races begin Friday, July 28 2017, but the serious action gets underway on Saturday, July 29, with the elite races scheduled for the afternoon.

Not sure where to take in all the action? Check out this handy list of locations:

Grandstands
One of the best spots to watch the race is from the public grandstands at William Hawrelak Park. Not only do you get to cheer on the athletes every time they complete a lap or head into transition, but you can also follow their progress through a live feed on the big screen in front of the stands. Located along the finish chute, the grandstands offer a great view of the finish line.

Beer garden
Beer and sports, like two peas in a pod.  Enjoy the race with a cold one at the Brewsters beer garden, located opposite the finish line. The family-friendly area features a great view of the action, as well as live entertainment between the women’s and men’s event on Saturday afternoon. The beer garden will be open 3:00-8:00 pm on Friday and 11:00 am to 6:00 pm on Saturday.

Lakeside
Before snagging a seat in the stands or the beer garden, head down to Hawrelak Lake for the start of the swim event. With goggles on and tensions running high, this is the triathlon version of “let’s get ready to rumble” and should not be missed. The first 200 metres are often a good indicator of overall finishing position, so the pressure will be on. The elite women’s race begins Saturday at 1:00 pm and is followed by the elite men’s race at 3:00 pm.

Canada Corner Cheer Party
Put on some red and white and head to the top of Emily Murphy Park hill to cheer on the elite athletes as they take on the most technical part of the course – six times! The triathlon will be broadcast across Alberta and streamed across the world, so be sure to warm those windpipes and show the athletes some love.

The festivities include a DJ provided by Virgin Radio, food trucks and a Triathlon 101 tent, where you can find out more about this growing sport. The free event runs noon to 4:00 pm on Saturday.

Getting there
With roads in and around Hawrelak Park blocked off for athlete safety, and no parking on site, you might be wondering how to get to the action. 

A free shuttle service will operate between the University of Alberta main campus and the race site on both Friday and Saturday. Spectators can access the shuttle at the bus stop (#2851) across from the Lister Conference Centre, near the intersection of 116 Street and 87 Avenue, or at the Windsor Park Car Park surface lot, near the intersection of Edinboro Road and 116 Street. The shuttle runs approximately every 10 minutes.

Bike racks will also be available for those who want to cycle in.  Don’t forget your lock!

Hint: When parking at Windsor Parkade on Friday, use parking code 93730 to receive the weekend rate of $5.50.

Click here for more information including maps for the different races, complete schedules and details on the athletes.