Registration for the 2016 Barrie Triathlon has just opened and to help you in planning your season, here is my race report from the 2015 race.
The Barrie Triathlon is a Triathlon-Ontario sanctioned race that takes place in August every year along Barrie’s scenic waterfront and Kempenfelt Bay. It is not part of a series but rather is organized by the city. It is one of the few races where road traffic is completely closed to traffic, which makes it an exciting and safe event. The race day begins with Kids of Steel races followed by the adult sprint triathlon beginning around 10am. The late start provides a rare opportunity to sleep in and relax before a race.
The swim is a 750m swim that runs parallel to the public beach on Kempenfelt bay in an out and back format. Water is usually warm by this time of year and the swim course was well marked. Entry and exit is from the beach and is well-marked. Routes to and from the transition areas are completely cordoned off so there’s no confusion in finding your way in the post-swim haze.
The 20k bike route is broken up into 5km loops which makes the race exceptional for spectators as there are multiple options for them to see and cheer for you during each loop. The route is flat and very fast. Pavement along the lakeshore is very rough and full of potholes, although the waterfront is currently being redesigned and should be all-new for 2016. The loop format makes for a fast-paced bike leg.
The run is a 5km run that follows along beside the bike route using city trails. During the race there was a shortage of volunteers and the route was poorly marked and several runners were seen racing the wrong route. Additionally the run route is not closed to bystanders; this led to frequent congestion and slowdowns having to run around pedestrians using the walking trail. Additionally there were no volunteers along the back half of the run or the turnaround and unfortunately several runners were seen making an early turnaround.
Transition areas were well-marked and well-organized, however were set up on pavement which is rough on bare feet when running from the swim.
Race kit and extras:
Race kits had minimal goodies; post-race food was an excellent hamburger BBQ on the beach. There were minimal vendors on site to purchase products from. Race photography was excellent and all photos were provided FREE TO ALL ATHLETES. This was an excellent idea and seemed well received by participants. There is ample free parking around the race site and food and amenities (restaurants, change rooms, sorta-potties) were conveniently located and easy to get to. There were a few minor complaints such as plastic cups at the water stations (makes a mess on the ground and bad for the environment) however on the whole the race was very well done.
The Barrie Triathlon, although a small scale event, is well run and fun event with an excellent course layout. There were minor issues in organization and ‘flow’ of the event due to a shortage of volunteers, however it was a fun and value-packed event. I will definitely be back for the 2016 race.
Register here at 2016 Barrie Triathlon