(Photo: Competitors prepare for the start of the swimming leg of their event during the St. Joseph Island Triathlon August 17, 2013. SooToday.com/Kenneth Armstrong)
Update: For reaction by the Township of St. Joseph click here, original release below.
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.
The community of Richards Landing and the Township of St. Joseph have been partnering to host the St. Joseph Island Triathlon since its inception.
“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.
“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.”