Kincardine Women’s Triathlon needs new race location this year
January 30, 2023
The Kincardine Women’s Triathlon, one of the municipality’s cornerstone events each summer, will not be held at Station Beach in Kincardine this year.
“We have been working hard to secure a location and date for this year's race,” says race director Sarah Foster. “Unfortunately, the Municipality of Kincardine is unwilling to close the roads we require in order to run a safe race here.”
This doesn’t mean the event is cancelled. Instead, the triathlon executive is continuing discussions with neighbouring municipalities about hosting the race elsewhere to keep it going.
The executive met in November and decided to move the race to August in hopes of the lake being warm enough for a swim, says Foster. The triathlon includes a 375-metre swim, a 12-kilometre bike ride, and a three-kilometre run.
Once the date was confirmed with supporting organizations, it was brought forward to the municipality which said it would not be closing Huron Terrace in 2023. That street is one of the roads used for the bike route, and historically, the road has been closed for the three-hour duration of the race.
Other routes in the Town of Kincardine were considered, including a route which would have seen the race move to a duathlon only, but those proposals were also turned down.
Since 2000, the Kincardine Women’s Triathlon has had more than 7,000 participants and donated more than $100,000 to local organizations in Kincardine. In December of 2022, the triathlon donated $5,000 each to the Women’s House Serving Bruce and Grey and Community Living of Kincardine and District from last year’s race proceeds.
The race also creates numerous economic spin-offs in Kincardine, with participants often staying in local hotels and eating at local restaurants before and after the event.
“We have also been a very inclusive race, welcoming participants of all abilities,” says Foster. “As a women-only triathlon, it’s always been heartwarming to see kids cheering on their moms.”
The race has been cancelled only two years in the past 23, and that was due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The executive continues active discussions with other municipalities, but if a new location is not secured soon, there will not be enough time to plan the race, says Foster. A final decision on whether the 2023 triathlon will proceed elsewhere, will be made by Feb. 28.
“We know our athletes are planning their 2023 race season,” says Foster, “and we hope we will be able to find a new home so that our race will be one of them.”
Kincardine chief administrative officer Jillene Bellchamber-Glazier says that in preparation for the Queen Street downtown reconstruction project this year, staff has been working with business owners and event organizers who will be impacted by the construction.
She says that staff has met three times with the organizers of the Kincardine Women’s Triathlon - the third time was Friday following the council decision to award the contract for the Queen Street project to commence this year.
“Staff has looked at several options for the race, as the usual route is impacted by the Queen Street closure,” says Bellchamber-Glazier. “Safety, including the need to ensure access for emergency responders, is the main concern impacting the regular route due to Queen Street being closed.”
She says two options seemed to be the best likely fit, including one in the municipality at Inverhuron and one in Huron-Kinloss Township.
“Our staff reached out to the Inverhuron association about the potential for the race, as well as the Inverhuron Provincial Park,” she says. “We are also happy to continue to help with the success of the race for this year.”
Foster says the triathlon executive is in discussions with other neighbouring municipalities, and has reached out to Inverhuron Park.
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