Two bonus features of being a Cyswog participant: spectators (above) and well deserved free massages (right).

You should give it a tri in Nelson this weekend

Every August long weekend, Lakeside Park beach and surrounding streets are transformed into a triathlon course for the Cyswog ‘n’ Fun race.

Every August long weekend, Lakeside Park beach and surrounding streets are transformed into a triathlon course for the Cyswog ‘n’ Fun race.

Hundreds of competitors, their supporters and casual observers arrive at the park bright and early to be ready when the gun goes off at 8 a.m.

Athletes will move through three consecutive stages — swim, bike and run — covering a total of 27.5 kilometres on the short course and 50.5 km on the long course.

This endurance sport is designed to truly test your stamina. After an hour or two (or three for some doing the long course) of continuous exercise, every racer should feel a great sense of accomplishment     as they cross the finish    line.

The Nelson triathlon course, through the chilly lake and along hilly roads, is more challenging than most. Seasoned triathletes who race around the province are unlikely to record a new personal best time here. But there’s something special about our race that keeps visitors and locals alike registering for it year after year.

Maybe it’s the complimentary pre- and post-race massages. Or smiles and encouragement from fellow races and the spectators who line the street to cheer. Or the feast waiting for them at the finish line (this year Whitewater’s Fresh Tracks food truck is supplying lunch).

Or maybe it’s that if you jump in the lake without a wetsuit or do the cycling portion on a mountain bike, nobody’s going to look at you funny (and you won’t be the only one doing it!). Rookies are not only welcome but encouraged in the Cyswog ‘n’ Fun.

If you’ve been thinking about signing up, you have until this Friday to submit your registration form either in person at Gerick’s before 5 p.m. or online at trinelson.com before midnight. You can race as an individual or a relay team, on the short course or long.

A number of volunteer race marshals are also required to ensure the event runs smoothly. For those not up for racing in the event, this is another way to get involved. The volunteer registration form is also on the website.

The 31st annual Cyswog ‘n’ Fun goes this Sunday, August 4 from 8 a.m. to noon. With an award ceremony to follow at 12:30 a.m.

For more information, including route details, see trinelson.com.