by Pro Triathlete Alex
In 2009, ITU draft-legal racing was divided into three levels of racing. World Triathlon Series (WTS) races are at the top with 6–8 races per year in some of the most iconic cities on the planet. This is the crème of the crop in triathlon: high-caliber, fast-paced racing. On the middle level are World Cup races with about 10 per year scattered across the globe. Then there are the entry level Continental Cup races of which there are a whole lot.
Clermont, Sarasota, and Dallas, which I did earlier this year, were all Continental Cup races. But now I was stepping it up a notch, racing against a deeper field at a higher level.
This was my first trip ever to Edmonton and my first time staying with a completely random homestay set up by the race director. Things couldn’t have gone better. I knew I was going to like Edmonton the moment I walked off the plane and saw a bunch of ads bragging about random facts about Alberta. Facts like… Bison used to repopulate wild populations all come from Alberta. Alberta has the most diverse number of dinosaur species anywhere in the world.
Edmonton was a great city, the race organizers had put together a difficult and fun course, and my homestay was incredible. Gunther and Mary were extremely helpful and accommodating. They were both heavily involved with the race. Gunther was providing the beer for the post-race festivities, and their home was a quick bike ride from the race site. Overall I was left with an amazing impression of the city, the people, and the course.
Edmonton will be the site of the Grand Final Championship next year. It will be an amazing race and who knows… maybe I’ll even get to be a part of it.