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Delta Tri registration opens Monday morning

Ken McRobert of Ladner, 63, won an entry into the 2014 Delta Triathlon when he entered his name into a contest during the opening of the Harris Barn last spring. The local athlete has competed in running his entire life.  - Adrian MacNair photo
Ken McRobert of Ladner, 63, won an entry into the 2014 Delta Triathlon when he entered his name into a contest during the opening of the Harris Barn last spring. The local athlete has competed in running his entire life.
— image credit: Adrian MacNair photo

With a lean frame, strong and muscular legs, and a few wisps of white hairs, Ken McRobert doesn’t much look his age of 63 years. And given how physically active he is one could say he doesn’t act his age either.

The Ladner resident plays in two hockey leagues, runs, bikes, and swims, keeping trim and staying healthy as he enters retirement.

On April 26 he plans to enter the Delta Triathlon, which he gained entry to via an auction he won during the grand opening of the Harris Barn last Spring.

Although McRobert has been running competitively for over 50 years, the last of five triathlons he participated in was back in the 1990s.

Originally a sprinter, McRobert said he switched to running marathons 20 years ago over a wager.

“My wife made me a bet that if I switched from sprinting, which I’d done for 18 years, to running a marathon she’d pay for me to go and race in Hawaii,” he said.

In nine months he went from short distance running to the full 42 kilometre marathon.

McRobert said he’s too “lazy” to train for a full marathon again, so when he saw the auction item for the Delta Triathlon at the Harris Barn he felt it was serendipitous.

“It’s really the variety of a triathlon that’s more fun than running marathons,” he said. “It’s a little easier on the body, too.”

Since he’s been a lifetime runner, the hardest personal challenge for McRobert will be the swimming portion. To get back into swimming shape, he’s been down at the Leisure Centre twice a week for the past month.

McRobert said Ladner is an ideal place to train for a triathlon with plenty of quiet back roads for cycling and jogging and the Ladner Leisure Centre open to anybody for swimming or cross-training.

Jessica George, who is in her second year as race director for the triathlon, participated in the event herself in 2009.

She said being able to do each segment of the race is important but people can go at their own pace.

“The nice thing about our race is you don’t have to be a top athlete in any three of those areas,” she said. “We have people that do the bike portion of the race in a mountain bike, so you don’t have to have top of the line lightweight racer road bikes.”

The terrain for both the biking course (20 km) and the running (5 km) is flat and the swim has been shortened by 100 metres this year to 600 metres.

A family friendly event, there are also categories for Kids of Steel (8-11 years old), and youth (12-15), which is a qualifier event for the BC Summer Games.

Registration for the 15th annual Delta Triathlon opens on Jan. 6 at 6 a.m. at the Ladner Leisure Centre. Last year the adult race (16+) filled up in five hours, so be sure to get there early.

For those who want to be involved without competing, there are 250 volunteer opportunities ranging from small activities to management of the race over several months.

Visit deltatriathlon.ca for more details.

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