An annual triathlon that had been held for over three decades has been cancelled.
Organizers announced Thursday that the Cyswog’n’Fun Triathlon won’t be held in July. Race director Bill Harbord said dwindling volunteer numbers and burnout contributed to the decision.
“It’s just overwhelming,” said Harbord. “And then we tried to recruit other people into the race committee, and it seems like triathlon is a little bit less popular that it was.
“I think there’s a new model for the event as well, that being the for-profit races would have more bells and whistles where everything is a little bit fancier in the transition sections, bigger prizes, that sort of thing.”
Harbord, who served two terms as the race’s director over four years, also previously led a triathlon in North Vancouver and sat on the board of Triathlon B.C. for seven years. He said he was putting in hundreds of hours to keep the Cyswog going.
“It’s a very onerous task,” he said.
The 34th edition of the triathlon at Lakeside Park last summer suffered a drop of 30 to 40 participants to about 160 competitors, although Harbord said that didn’t impact the decision to scrap the event.
Harbord thanked the Nelson Rotary Club for stepping in to help with race-day volunteers, but that the real issue was a lack of interest in organizing. Previously, the race committee had a core group of eight to 10 volunteers, but Harbord said that dropped to just two or three.
He added those left will now refocus on smaller events.
“We didn’t take this lightly. Very disappointed that the race is cancelled but there’s no sense in flogging a dead horse.”