Drop in participants at this year’s Cyswog’n’Fun

About 160 competitors took part, which was 30 to 40 less than last year.

Swimmers emerge from the water at last month's Cyswog'n'Fun Triathlon. There was a sizeable drop in participants this year.

The Cyswog’n’Fun Triathlon wasn’t the raging success organizers hoped for this year.

Nelson Rotary Club president Mark McBride said the 34th annual event on July 31 suffered a drop of 30 to 40 participants to about 160 competitors.

McBride said Thursday he thought the drop might be attributed to the closure of the pool at the Nelson and District Community Complex as it undergoes renovations, or to perhaps a general loss of interest in triathlons.

“Triathlons overall are probably on the wane in terms of sports right now,” he said. “You’ve got more extreme sports out there right now in terms of ultra-biking, ultra-running, ultra-swimming, which is kind of bleeding off some of the participants to triathlons. … So I think it’s a couple different factors that’s contributing to the lower participating rate this year.”

The financial impact of that drop isn’t yet clear. McBride said the club is still settling outstanding bills, but if there is a loss he didn’t expect it will have much impact on future triathlons.

The rotary club had previously stepped in to help out this year’s event, which was in danger of not having enough volunteers to run. McBride said the club will look to improve marketing ahead of the 2017 race.

“Like so many other things in Nelson, it’s a great event but it’s relatively unknown,” he said. “So I think there’s a need to get out to the wider triathlon community and to all of southern British Columbia and southern Alberta and maybe northern Washington, Idaho, that we have this great little funky triathlon that happens in Nelson. If you’re not super competitive it’s a fun one to enter.”

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