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End of the road for St. Joseph Island Triathlon

Wednesday, March 05, 2014   by: Staff

(Photo: Competitors prepare for the start of the swimming leg of their event during the St. Joseph Island Triathlon August 17, 2013. Armstrong)

Update: For reaction by the Township of St. Joseph click here, original release below.



SAULT STE. MARIE - After 10 years as a staple for local and international athletes alike, the St. Joseph Island Triathlon has reached the end of the road. Race Director Sherri Smith has announced that there will be no Triathlon in Richard’s Landing this summer.
The event began with approximately 200 participants in 2004 and grew to more than double that in 2013, straining the capacity of its host community of Richards Landing.
“For the past few years our core volunteer group has been struggling with the toll of pulling off the event with the amount of time and attention it requires, and the restrictions of our location,” said Smith. “Each year we de-brief and each year new challenges come up due to the growth of the event.”
The community of Richards Landing and the Township of St. Joseph have been partnering to host the St. Joseph Island Triathlon since its inception.
Ms. Smith expressed her appreciation of the residents for accommodating race participants over the years, volunteering and cheering them on.
However, as the event has grown, worries over race site layout, parking, pedestrian and traffic control have also grown.

“Putting on an event of this magnitude requires a lot of time throughout the year and creates a lot of stress, especially the weekend of the event,” said Smith. “We have had some great volunteers who have taken this on year after year, but some of our key people are ready to retire. Unfortunately these people are irreplaceable, and their absence makes it impossible for us to consider continuing to host the Triathlon at its current location.”

With the help of local agencies, Smith and her team have scanned various local lakes and rivers to find an alternative location, but have been unable to find a suitable alternative site.
She notes that while her team welcomes the input of our area communities, it is unlikely a new location will be found in time for 2014.

“We have looked exhaustively for a new location for the event but keep coming up against the same challenges,” notes Smith. “We need a suitable water source, with good, paved roads leading to it, and parking for a couple hundred vehicles. There are not a lot of options.”


Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
Javaman 3/5/2014 9:02:18 PM Report

Next Mr. Bon Soo will be retired. What is happening these days? Why are the young folks not stepping up to the plate? Oh I forgot...they all move away.
saultbie25 3/5/2014 9:07:20 PM Report

All the young people move for JOBS and well paying ones. Why stay in a place where you only get paid min wage and part time.

Too bad others can't step up but most people bust their butts to make ends meet and no extra time to dedicate to volunteering.
Sam C 3/5/2014 9:52:15 PM Report

Java... as I read the story, this has less to do with a lack of new volunteers, and more to do with the limitations of the location. Sometimes, events such as these are victims of their own success.
SooSoo 3/6/2014 6:47:57 AM Report

Why not put on the event with a restriction of the number of participants in order to keep it at a level that can be managed?
grammy 3/6/2014 7:22:02 AM Report

Thank you Sherri and volunteers for 10 years of success!!The triathlon will be missed.
superior87 3/6/2014 8:52:17 AM Report

Has nothing to do with young people, good grief.
Ski-Dude 3/6/2014 9:34:14 AM Report

Sorry to hear. This will have a fairly substantial negative impact on the Island economy :( Maybe some call-outs asking for help to keep this alive?
SaultRentals 3/6/2014 10:24:36 AM Report

Not sure of all of the details but could there be shuttles to drive people to the venues from the Legion or the old Cornfest grounds, to minimize the parking issues?
SaultRentals 3/6/2014 10:34:34 AM Report

Could the age groups also be divided into different weekends? This can continue to be an ecomony booster for St. Joseph Island and I would think keeping it on the Island should be a priority to the Island leadership. Maybe they can form a non profit and get funding to pay people to run it in future years. There is always a way....
BAK 3/6/2014 2:24:32 PM Report

So sorry to hear this news. Thank you so much Sherri and all your volunteers! This was a wonderful family event that I looked forward to and trained for each sad to see it end....
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