The 28th annual St. Albert Kids of Steel Triathlon is good to go Sunday with a strong contingent of competitors and support staff.
“We expect a great turnout of 130 volunteers and 268 athletes this year,” said race director Wietske Eikelenboom of the St. Albert Triathlon Association.
The age-group participants are 121 females and 139 males, in addition to three teams.
The largest age group is U7 with 77 athletes, 28 females and 49 males.
The rest of the age groups are 8-9, 10-11, 12-13, 14-15, 16 to 19, youth 14-15 draft legal, junior draft legal and U23.
Athletes race a swim-bike-run course varying in distance per age group, from the 50-metre swim, 1.8-kilometre bike and 0.50-km run for U7 to the 750m swim, 18.4-km bike and five-km run for junior draft legal and U23. Team distances are also different lengths per category.
Fountain Park Recreation Centre is the start/transition/finish area and the main bike/run routes are Sir Winston Churchill Ave., Boudreau Road, Hebert Road and Cunningham Road.
Some of the age group routes also include Fairview Blvd., Forest Drive, Fair Oaks Drive and Forest Park Trail.
“The City of St. Albert is providing the event with 18 trained flaggers to support us to make the event even safer as they realized that we would not be able to come up with that many trained flaggers on such short notice,” Eikelenboom said of the city’s recently revised safety requirements that included 15 flaggers for the race. Flaggers are officially trained and certified to handle traffic at various locations on the event route.
There has never been an incident in the event’s history, which dates back to 1992 when Dave Rudge and Steve Irwin of TriSport, a store in St. Albert at the time, helped bring the Kids of Steel to St. Albert and Rudge was the first race director.
The Kids of Steel starts at 8 a.m. with the U7 swimmers.
Last year's competition featured 184 finishers and two years ago 220 completed the race.
The event’s website is stalbertkidsofsteel.com.