Memories of the Sri.

I still have some vivid memories of the Sri of 1984. It was my first. Wet suits were not invented then and I was terrified of being out in the middle of the lake, unable to touch bottom. I waited until most of the 300 or so competitors had charged out at the start and proceeded to swim a leisurely breaststroke to the far buoy. I was secure in the knowledge that a plastic bag, tucked into my shorts, could be inflated as a floatation aid if an emergency arose. I was in the water about an hour and most of the competitors were long gone on the bike course by the time I hauled out.

The bike course was fun and I managed to pick up a few places. It was only 30 km in those days, around a circular course. My bike was an old steel Norco whose fenders and rack had been removed to reduce weight. No Lycra or fancy shoes with cleats, just bear traps.

Yes, the run went out and back along the highway and it was hot. Going out there was lots of support from those coming back as well as the public lined up near the finish. On the way back I remember looking at my watch, probably for the first time that day, and wondering if I could make it back in under 3 hours. Digging deep (for me) I put on a spurt and made it across the line in 2:57:01 These days that would be considered an awful time, but I wasn't last!

The t-shirt has long since disintegrated and the race number is my only souvenir. I didn't do any more triathlons again until 2002, when I was inspired to start again by a neighbor who did an Ironman.

Hope to join you this year if my old bones will let me. The Sri has to be the best event of the year!!!!

Thanks for all your efforts over the years.

Maurice Robinson. #558

PS. I still have the original race tag.

Memories from the (sometimes) Race Director

Thirty years! Some of you weren’t even born yet when we had our very first Triathlon (now the longest running in Canada). And, oh, the changes we have seen over the years. My first experience of the new sport was standing on a hilltop with a Slow/Stop sign to halt any vehicles when the cyclists (all 40 of them) were coming by. Today that would be a no-no since only professional traffic control personnel are allowed to stop traffic. (Of course in the early days there was little traffic to control.)

Each year has been an opportunity for self-transcendence not only for the athletes who always strive to better their performance, but also for the organizers who are faced, always, with additional bureaucratic requirements—paper piled upon paper! To say nothing of our own desire each year to create something extra for the athletes.

Many things are still the same--the beautiful location, the lake, the rolling hills to cycle and the shady lakeside trail to run. And best of all the hundreds of our athlete friends looking to meet their own personal challenges. When the swimmers are all in the water, and I watch them crossing the lake, the sight reminds me of the thrill of watching flocks of wild geese migrating. And my heart lifts to join them.

And then I hurry away to make sure the pancake grill is getting hot.

Sumitra McMurchy, Race Director

The water bottle

In one of the early races in the 80's when we would run down the highway there was only one water station at the turnaround. I remember it was a very hot weekend and I knew that one water station wasn't going to be sufficient. I filled up a water bottle and on race morning as I was on my way to Hamsterly Beach I stopped my vehicle across from the Beaver Lake Entrance and hid this water bottle behind a small bush beside the edge of the road.

Sunday was a scorcher but I took only a small sip of water at the turnaround thinking that I would easily find the water bottle I had "planted " and would breeze to the finish line fully hydrated. As I was approaching "my water station" I realized there were a number of small bushes beside the road that looked exactly like mine!!!

What a dilemma. Do I stop and look like a fool trying to figure out if it is bush #1, or bush #2, or bush #3?  Do I let all the triathletes that I had worked so hard to pass up to that time breeze by me? ....beating last year's time was more important to me so I just kept on running!!!!

On my return home after the race, I forgot about stopping to retrieve my "full" water bottle and for many years after that as I would drive down the Pat Bay Highway I always wondered what happened to that water bottle. After about 10 years, I finally decided to put an end to this mystery and go searching for the infamous water bottle. I checked out every bush within 50m of the entrance but to no avail. I could not find the remnants of an old water bottle circa 1984!!!!!