Smiths Falls Triathlon holds 41st edition (safely) despite pandemic
On Sunday June 28th, the Smiths Falls Classic Triathlon underwent it’s 41st consecutive annual event.
This year’s triathlon was like none other before it. The event has had participant numbers as high as 1000 people but the 41st annual triathlon had the Covid pandemic standing in its way. However, once again, the perseverance of Canada’s longest running triathlon was on display when a collection of 7 athletes came together to keep the tradition alive.
The athletes participated in a Sprint Triathlon which consists of a 500m swim, a 21 km cycle and finished with a 5 km run. Smiths Falls has always been known as a town that admires athletic accomplishments and this is yet another example of that.
The Smiths Falls Classic Triathlon was born when two high school friends, Andrew Comstock and Bernie Merkley, who attended Smiths Falls High School decided they wanted to host a triathlon event It was the first ever triathlon with the standard swim/bike/run format to take
place on Canadian soil.
Since the first Smiths Falls Triathlon took place in 1980, there has been an event every year earning this event the title of Canada’s oldest triathlon, running for 41 consecutive years.
Corey Turnbull leads the local running club, Team SFR, provides private coaching and is a local champion of the triathlon. Corey organized the event this last Sunday, along with a few volunteers and the 7 participants, to keep the Smiths Falls Triathlon alive. Greg Earle, Kim Schryburt-Brown, Chris Elmsley, Robin Hull, Kris Plant, Chris Brown and Malcom Stadig all jumped at the chance to do a special edition of the Triathlon.
“The Smiths Falls triathlon is an event near and dear to many people. It contributes socially, culturally, and economically to the identity of Smiths Falls. It was important we continued, even if it was a modified version of what it normally is”. Corey said regarding the continuation of the historical event.