The group who partook in the July 18 triathlon are (top row, from left) Lenora Poulin, Kim Hollmann, Brenda Deschenes, Rachel Deschenes, Steve Link, (bottom row, from left) Heather Link, Erin Wilkins and Emma Link. Missing from the photo are Darby Link and Emily Taylor. (Submitted photo)

‘COVID-friendly’ summer triathlon organized by young Hope resident

Start small, Emma Link recommends, and don’t forget triathlons are supposed to be fun

With the COVID-19 pandemic spelling an end to most outdoor sporting events this summer, a small group of Hope residents still managed to get together for a COVID-friendly triathlon.

Emma Link, a graduate of Hope Secondary home for the summer from her studies at the University of Saskatchewan, organized a July 18 triathlon for family and friends that included a 700 metre swim, a 10-kilometre bike ride and a five-kilometre run.

“Coming back to Hope, when COVID hit, I was looking for something different to do. I was antsy to get outside and keep doing triathlons,” she said. The plan was first to do a triathlon by herself, then it expanded to include her family (Link’s dad had previously participated in triathlons) and then the plan opened up to some of their friends.

The planning started by gauging distances and finding the best spots to partake in the various components of the three-part race. The swim started at 7 a.m. at Kawkawa Lake, “obviously the pool is closed right now, so the lake it was,” Link said. “Then I just used Google Earth to plot the distances.”

The road around the airport is approximately five kilometres, so the second and third components (bike and run) were held here.

Some completed the entire triathlon, others took part in various components, and all did an amazing job Link said. “I think my biggest part was just making it accessible for everybody because I wanted everybody to be able to do it and have fun while doing it,” she said. The feedback was so positive that another triathlon is likely to happen in the future.

The triathlon was kept “COVID-friendly” by only having people in Link’s family and friend bubble participate, as well as practicing physical distancing, washing their hands, sanitizing and keeping the event outdoors.

“It was really nice just to have that community feel to it…so we could interact with people, even though we’re staying our distance and could all just be active together,” Link said. “That’s the biggest part of sport to me is the community of it, just being together and being active with other people. It’s nice to go outside and to do it with somebody, and it’s just really fun to get active again.”

Link is going into her second year in the field of kinesiology – she’s got her eye on a career in physiotherapy. Having joined the triathlon club in university, she has participated in a few indoor events so far and had plans to do more this summer. That was, of course, before the pandemic started in earnest.

Her recommendations for newbies in the triathlon world is to start small, and to remember that it’s actually supposed to be a fun endeavour.

“I know when people think of a triathlon, they think of Ironman, which is a gargantuan race,” she said. “Starting small is the best way of doing it and practicing the individual chunks, so that you can feel confident enough to put them all together and that you won’t be exhausted at the end of it.”

“Yeah, and just have fun, it’s supposed to be fun.”

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:

Facebook and follow us on Twitter

hopeOutdoors and Recreation

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Runners take part in a COVID-friendly triathlon, organized by Hope’s Emma Link who became interested in the sport while at university in Saskatchewan. (Lenora Poulin photo)

The triathlon began with a 700 metre swim at Kawkawa Lake. (Lenora Poulin photo)

Just Posted

Last day of summer should be pleasant across the Fraser Valley

With fresh air, some sunshine in the forecast nothing to complain about as fall arrives tomorrow

Young Abbotsford cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

Abbotsford parents upset as district gets cohort exemption to maximize class sizes at elementary school

Classes and cohorts shuffled after division eliminated at King Traditional elementary school

B.C. families financially affected by pandemic eligible for grocery gift cards

Program open to struggling families in Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley communities

‘Each step is a prayer’: Ojibwe man will walk from Hope to Vancouver Island for Indigenous healing, reconciliation

James Taylor departs Sept. 20, returns to Saanich in five days for sacred fire

Quirky Canadian comedy ‘Schitt’s Creek’ takes Emmys by storm with comedy sweep

Toronto-raised Daniel Levy and Ottawa-born Annie Murphy both got supporting actor nods

Mission poker player missing in Nevada is found alive and safe

Brad Booth went missing in July 13, found in mid September

B.C. unveils new cannabis sales programs to help small, Indigenous growers

Government did not say how it will define small producers, but says nurseries will be included in the policy

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

VIDEO: Shots fired outside Langley gas station that was scene of 2018 homicide

No reports of injuries in Saturday evening incident

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Most Read