One of the athletic highlights of the summer is all for a good cause.
The Natural High Charity Triathlon returns for its seventh incarnation this summer on July 8 as a showcase of the swimming, biking and running available in the area with proceeds go directly towards KidSport Okotoks.
The annual event caters to all fitness levels and serves as a jumping off point for rookies.
“The vast majority of triathletes around the world have done one,” said Natural High Charity Triathlon organizer Andrew Gustafson. “They do it, they say they’ve done it and now they move on. Every single year about half the people that do our race are first-time racers.”
The race starts and finishes at the Crystal Shores Beach House featuring a 500m open water swim in the lake followed by a 20km bike ride and capped off with a 5km run.
Also offered is the Tri It distance triathlon catered to first-timers.
The truncated version of the triathlon, available for men and women aged 14 and up, encompasses a 250m swim, 13.1 km bike ride and 2.5km run.
There is also a kids race with varied distances for the 10-13 and 6-9 age categories.
“Triathlon is something a lot of people have on their bucket list. It’s a unique thing they say I would like to try to do that at some point,” Gustafson said. “This is a very accessible distance, you don’t have to be an avid athlete to complete a Tri-it distance race.
“Then you get to be part of triathlon culture, which is a lot of fun.”