The Cowichan Valley Breakers’ first ever Splash n’ Dash duathlon fundraiser at the Cowichan Aquatic Centre earlier this month attracted athletes of all ages and from a wide range of sports backgrounds.
Participants included soccer players from the Cowichan Valley Soccer Association, rugby players from Cowichan Secondary School, track and field athletes from the CVAC Jaguars, first-time triathletes and Ironman veterans, and of course swimmers, hailing from the host Breakers, the Duncan Stingrays and the Nanaimo White Rapids.
"We had dads running with five-year-old daughters for their first race, after racing themselves," Breakers spokesperson Sara Lowe said. "We had older swimmers mentoring younger first-timers, all after doing their own races."
The event ran similar to a triathlon without the cycling component, sanctioned by Triathlon BC and sponsored by the Shawnigan Lake Triathlon. Assistance was also provided by the CVACs, experienced triathletes, Breakers parents, Aquatic Centre staff, and a handful of Stingrays parents.
U8 athletes did a 50m swim and 500m run, U12s did a 100m swim and 1km run, and two open categories had a 200m swim and 2km run or 500m swim and 5km run.
"It was truly a community effort and the CV Breakers are so grateful for it," Lowe said. "The true winners in all of this were the kids and the athletes. Our athletes ranged in age from four to 50-plus."
The Breakers plan to bring back the fundraiser next year, making it bigger and better.
"Not much money was made this time for the team, but that’s okay," Lowe said. "Something much more important was accomplished at the first annual CV Breakers Splash n’ Dash: experience, pride, and a sense of community. It was truly a magical day."