Sault Stryders
Running Club

St. Joseph Triathlon gaining recognition
Reported July 19, 2011 by Michael Purvis for The Sault Star
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Running a triathlon requires an immense amount of work.

Putting it together, however, can take just as much.

And after putting in endless hours doing both, Sherri Smith is thrilled the St. Joseph Island Triathlon is starting to really catch on.

In its eighth year, event founder and director Smith said she's getting more applications from the Toronto area than ever and even from as far away as Puerto Rico.

"It's not just the Algoma District anymore. It's very exciting to see all the groundwork we've put in paying off," explained Smith, former winner of national and world triathlon championships.

The triathlon falls on Aug. 13 this year and Smith expects between 450 and 500 competitors, with around 150 volunteers.

Along with competitors from different areas, the event is also starting to gain recognition from higher levels.

This year, for the first time, the Ontario Summer Games has selected the event as a qualifyer for those aged 14 to 15.

And while that's a strong sign of the stiffening competition, Smith wants to remind people the event, known for it's variety of divisions, won't change too much.

"We really try to make it as friendly as possible. We have so many different divisions that everyone has the opportunity to come out."

Competitors can participate in numerous races, ranging from an Olympic-distance triathlon, to international duathlon (run, bike, run), to spring duathlon that can be done in teams.

And there's even something for the youngsters -- a Kids of Steel triathlon for children five and under.

Smith, who gave birth to a child four months ago, said she expects to continue her tradition of testing out the course before the event gets underway.

"Every year I make it a point to run, swim and bike every single leg and I anticipate I'll do that again this year, I just might be a little slower," she said.

Participants can register up to and including race day by visiting the website or calling Smith at 705-759-2467.