When is a triathlon not a triathlon?

When it’s held on a typical late-May day in Edmonton.

The temperature was barely above freezing and the rain was coming down hard, so race officials at the 26 annual Subway Coronation Triathlon had to pull the plug on the cycling portion of the event yesterday morning.

The bad weather didn’t stop everybody from competing, however. Averil Finlay came out for the morning race despite the rain to compete in what she thought would be her first true triathlon. Finlay only started competing last year and has two sprint competitions under her belt.

“I am disappointed that we didn’t get to bike,” she said seconds after crossing the finish line to cheers and hugs. “They cancelled it because it was too cold, so we did the swim and the run.”
The weather couldn’t dampen her spirits, though.

“It’s all about getting it done,” said the Edmontonian who finished the one-kilometre swim and eight-kilometre run. “You’re elated at the end, it’s a wonderful feeling, especially when you get older, you feel like you can do anything. It’s great.”

The decision was made to cancel the cycling portion by EMS, police and delegates from the Alberta Triathlon Association, according to race director Kurt Bosch.

“Our athletes were in very good spirits and very supportive,” he said. “It was done in the interest of the athletes’ safety. We had some concerns with the temperature, the snow ... and hypothermia.”

Volunteer first-aid crews said they only had to help one athlete, who got too cold after coming out of the indoor pool for the outdoor run.