‘This is the big show’: Fans allowed in the stands at World Triathlon Championship in Edmonton

EDMONTON — Organizers at the World Triathlon Championship are excited to be able to welcome spectators at the event in Edmonton later this summer.

The championship and other events will take place August 20-22 at Hawrelak Park.

The event will not only feature world-class racing but include community events for all ages, including a kids’ splash and dash, an open water swim, American Ninja Warrior, corporate triathlon, and open amateur triathlon.

In addition, the Edmonton Urban Cycling Fondo community bike race will take place on a closed course. Participants will enjoy a route travelling through the river valley and have a variety of distance options.

Stephen Bourdeau, general manager at World Triathlon Edmonton, said the event will have different races and events for anyone and everyone. The main highlight will be the World Triathlon Championship.

Edmonton has typically hosted a world series event, not a finals event.

“This is the big show,” Bourdeau said.

The competition will see about 200 athletes from 40 different countries swim, run, and cycle their way around Hawrelak Park and central Edmonton.

The triathlon was originally scheduled last summer but was delayed due to the pandemic. Originally, organizers had planned to host it as a closed bubble event to ensure athletes could still compete safely.

Bourdeau said while triathlons have still been running in the past eight months, now fans will be able to share in the competition.

“It is huge that we got the news that spectators could come down and watch the event,” he said.

“These are the best athletes in the world. But they have been racing behind a curtain, without that lift and benefit of a crowd. It’s great that we’re able to be the first race in a long time for these athletes to be able to race in front of spectators.”

Seats in grandstands for the elite events will be free but spectators are asked to register in advance. Reservation will be done online, on a first come, first serve and available closer to the event. People will also be able to watch along the course.

“We are ecstatic that Edmontonians, and Albertans, will be able to participate and enjoy.”

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