Swim-bike-run is our Okanagan life

The Okanagan is well known as a haven for triathletes, and rightly so.

The Okanagan is well known as a haven for triathletes, and rightly so.

Having moved here from Ontario, I know there is so much to enjoy in our surroundings.

With the clean, warm lakes and picturesque roads and trails for biking and running, athletes who visit the area devour all it has to offer.

With winters being mild in comparison to most other provinces, athletes can run all year round outside without battling -30 temperatures or months of rain on end like some cities to the east and west of us.

The Subaru Ironman Canada has just passed, with another successful year (30th anniversary and sadly the last as Ironman).

I watched the start of the swim for the first time, and the 2,800 competitors racing into the water was a sight to be seen.

Seeing the range of athletes all determined to complete the 3.8-kilometre swim, 180-km bike and 42.2-km run is always inspiring.

The variance in age and athletic ability truly shows the love of the sport and the power of the mind.

The energy of the event is contagious and it is no wonder that many people continue to register and new participants get enthralled with a new life experience that awaits them with a year commitment to train.

This Sunday, Sept. 2, the Summerland ORCA Swim Team will host its own triathlon: The Summerland Sprint Triathlon and Kids of Steel event at Peach Orchard Beach.

With more than 300 participants last year, the good news of this local triathlon is spreading. It is a nice family atmosphere, where children as young as six will be competing in a shortened version of a triathlon.

The natural beauty at the location of Peach Orchard Park is an asset. There are many out of town, out of province and out of country competitors who will enjoy our lake and views.

It’s great that children are learning to get excited about enjoying a healthy lifestyle at a young age.

It is fun to get in the water and have the skills to swim and be water safe and enjoy the roads for biking and running, which is such a natural aspect of our community.

The ORCA Swim Team is proud to have Best Canadian Motor Inns come on board to sponsor the Kids of Steel Triathlon and Dirty Laundry Vineyards to sponsor the Adult Sprint Triathlon.  This triathlon is the major fundraiser for the ORCA swim team and it is run completely by volunteers, friends and family of the Summerland ORCA swim team. It is an enormous undertaking and has proved well worth its efforts in supporting the ORCA swim club.

Summerland Sprint and Kids of Steel Triathlon details:

Youth Races begin at 8:30 a.m.

Adult Races start at 10:05 a.m. for the men and 10:0 a.m. for women.

Awards start at 1 p.m.

Location: Peach Orchard Park, Summerland

I had my two- and four-year-old boys watch the event last year, and of course when they got home, they ran around the yard for hours and asked to go for bike rides all through the fall into the winter.

If you get a chance to get out in the morning on Sunday, Sept. 2 to watch the triathlon, be aware that you and your children may suddenly get the desire to get more active and swim, bike and run a little more.

Joanne Malar is a three-time Olympic Swimmer, 2012 CTV London Olympic Analyst, Summerland Parks and Recreation Programmer and Head Coach for ORCA Swim Team.