Jr. Duathlon participants after the completion of their race on September 28.

A duathlon only has three rules

The two week-long Nakusp Bike and Running Camp came together really fast.

Ryan Willman

Arrow Lakes News

The two week-long Nakusp Bike and Running Camp came together really fast. Organizer Janis Neufeld explained that she “decided on Thursday, planned it on Friday and began on Monday.”

The impetus for the camp came from a shared frustration from parents of students who were not in school during the first two weeks of September.

“I was frustrated with my kids doing nothing,” Neufeld shared, “and I was talking to other parents who were frustrated with their kids sitting on their butts, so we decided last minute to make this happen.”

Under the umbrella of the Kootenay Sufferfest Society and in partnership with local parkour group Freedom Quest and TriBC (the provincial governing body for triathalons), Neufeld and parents organized and delivered a week-long camp that cumulated with a duathlon race on the morning of September 28.

The camp focused on developing skills to run a duathlon race and had 30 young participants. The group practiced by biking trails such as the Galena Trail in New Denver and the Zoolander trails by Box Lake, as well as running the Hot Springs trail in preparation for race day on Sunday.

Prior to the start of the camp, Neufeld managed to organize grants from the Regional District of Central Kootenay, Columbia Basin Trust, Columbia Power and the Nakusp and Area Community Foundation as well as garner donations from Overweightea, North Naksup Auto, Box Lake Lumber, JPACK Plumbing and a personal donation from Ingrid Friedenberger, all in three day’s time.

“It was amazing that this all came together,” Neufeld said. “Parents were helping me coach and they were coming with us on our bike and run trips, doing something  some of them wouldn’t normally do. So everyone was getting out there.”

Devon Duerichen, from New Denver, and Kolibri Drobish, from Hills, were the first boy and girl to cross the finish line for the duathlon race. There were 23 competitors as well as a handful of enthusiastic parent participants.


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