Photo courstesy of TriStars

© Copyright – 2017 – Victoria Sports News

After a long winter by Victoria standards, the collective fingers are crossed in hopes that the spring season is just around the corner.

Baseball and lacrosse players are eyeing up the equipment bags, flowers are in bloom and Victoria begins the annual right-of-passage: mocking our cousins located in the prairies. Although spring doesn’t technically start until March 20th, athletes and people in pursuit of great outdoor recreational adventures take to the roads, trails and waterways at the first sign of the seasonal change.

For triathletes bikes leave the wind-trainers and they hit the roads en masse.

One of the earlier-in-the-year triathlons on the race calendar is taking place on May 7 at Saanich Commonwealth Place. The Beginner Tri for MS is a no-pressure fundraiser – a great opportunity to go through the paces of racing through the three disciplines and transition zones at one’s own effort. Therefore the pressure of the clock is off – in fact the event isn’t even timed.

TriStars Training puts on the event. They are the largest triathlon club in Victoria, originally started by Carolyn and Bob Gebbie in 2005, who have since retired and sold the club to TriStars’ Head Coach Lindsey Millar.

This year’s event is the fifth annual. During the first four years the event has raised $68,000 for the MS Society.

“It’s a fundraiser and we direct it more towards first-timers, but it is also a great event for people who want to enter a no-pressure race when they are coming back from injury or time away or they just want to begin the season without the pressure of the clock,” shared Carolyn Gebbie.

Participants are encouraged to raise money for the MS Society. “Some people have put on silent auctions or created their own items to sell, to raise funds,” said Gebbie when asked about some of the fundraising efforts. “One person likes to make different coloured headbands and sells them, whatever it takes.”

Asked why the MS Society was chosen, she said, “there have been members who have had MS and there are members who have been affected indirectly, because they know someone or have a relative with it. It hits home.”

“We had one member get MS in her 20s; she found exercise helped her to manage the symptoms. Now she has gone on to have a family.”

The event is just short of an official sprint distance triathlon with a 500m pool swim at Commonwealth Pool a 16.5K bike ride and a 4K walk or run.

“We all remember our first race, where we were like a deer in the headlights. So it is nice to do your first triathlon without pressure.”

Spring is just around the corner and the Beginner Tri for MS is a great opportunity to shake out the cobwebs or start triathlon racing in a friendly environment, while raising money for a good cause.

Registration closes May 3 at 11:59pm.

Details about the race can be found here>>