Jeff Green | Jul 02, 2009
Back to HomeFeature Article - July 2, 2009 Triathlon Coming to SydenhamBy Julie Druker
Maryanne Takala, Richard Cadman and Terry McKinty
It’s estimated that close to 1000 people will descend on the town of Sydenham on July 5 when the first ever Greater Kingston Sydenham Triathlon will be held at The Point in Sydenham.
The event will attract some professional and mostly amateur athletes from far and wide. According to Terry McKinty co-owner of Somersault Productions, the company that is putting on the event, ”The role that our events play is to provide an opportunity for adults and young people to race.”
The Sydenham triathlon will include a wide range of running, swimming, biking and kayaking events as well as a full Olympic length and a half length triathlon.
The idea of putting on a race in Sydenham evolved when local triathlete Scott Takala was training years ago with former Olympic triathlete Sharon Donnelly. Both thought Sydenham offered everything that this type of event requires. There is the lake, beautiful running trails and stretches of country roads, and also the main hub, The Point.
Years ago Scott brought the idea to his personal coach Richard Cadman, president of the Kingston Multisport Club and a long-time volunteer race director with Somersault Productions. After much consideration and planning Richard approached Terry McKinty.
Richard explained, “For about 2 or 3 years I’ve been looking at sites in the greater Kingston and surrounding area; then finally towards the end of last summer I drew all of the courses out and presented them to Terry and then with Maryanne’s help we went to council in October.”
Marianne Takala, Scott’s mother, was instrumental in putting Terry in touch with the township officials, who she states were “on board from the get go.” Maryanne added, “Community members also offered their support all along the way which made realizing the event very easy.” The Sydenham Legion and the Sydenham Lake Canoe Club have generously offered to supply volunteers on race day.
Cadman, who is the race's director, explained, “The site here is really unique. There is flat, clean water which is a huge feature. Sydenham Lake is very friendly for beginners and there is a natural running course which is also great.”
Richard, Terry and Marianne met early last Friday morning with South Frontenac township members Mark Howe, director of Parks and Recreation, and public works manager Mark Segsworth to finalize the last details of the race’s logistics.
I met up with them at the Point on Friday as they were deciding where exactly in the old ball diamond the racers will enter and exit with their bikes. They all seemed excited for the upcoming event.
According to Terry this race will likely not be the last event to be held here and he is hoping it become an annual event.
He explained, “It’s difficult to start up an event from nothing but this is a race that can grow. The word will get out. And we definitely want to come back. We talked about that from the beginning.”
Scott Takala expressed his excitement to be competing in his home town for the first time. He said, “It will be a blast.” He expects that having trained in Sydenham for years will give him an edge. “I know the hills, the water, the whole course and what to expect. I’ll be able to pace myself, which will be a definite advantage.”
Grateful for an opportunity to race at home Scott is equally excited for the community as a whole to be hosting this type of event. “It will definitely help to put Sydenham on the map.” Scott’s event will start at 8:30 am and will run until 10:30.
Anyone wishing to enter the events can still sign up on Saturday July 4 from 3:00-5:00pm or Sunday, July 5th from 6:30-8:00am at Sydenham High School. For more information please visit www.somersault.ca
The organizers hope that anyone driving in the Sydenham area on race day, July 5, will be patient and when possible avoid the intersection at Rutledge and Stagecoach Roads, especially from 8:00 am until noon. Making a detour using Railton Road is highly recommended.