Twenty-two years of swimming, cycling and running—it started small

Keely Dakin
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At 10 a.m. on Sunday the 22nd annual mini-triathlon begins.

The Greg Sylvester Memorial Triathlon runs in support of the Terry Fox Run, and on the same weekend.

Come out on Sunday to run, swim and cycle, durring the mini triathlon.

People of all levels and experiences are welcome and encouraged to come out and hopefully bring some pledges with them.

Marty Houle, co-organizer for the event, says as many as 30 participants may come out. However, it depends heavily on the weather.

“The weather is the ultimate factor. If it is four degrees on Sunday morning at 10 o’clock, there won’t be 30 people.”

If you’ve never tried it, this is the one to get your feet wet with, according to Mark Nagy, who has been racing in triathlons since 1987, and along with Sylvester, began the mini-triathlon.

“It’s about an hour and you can still go home afterwards and cut the grass. You have enough energy,” Nagy said.

The course begins with 12 laps of swimming, then a 15-kilometres bike ride and a final 5-km run.

“It’s a good fast workout, but it’s not gonna kill you to do it.”

However, a full triathlon, such as the Frank Dunn Triathlon, is a much more rigorous course, Nagy said. It boasts a 1500 metre swim, a 62 km bike course and a 13 km run. 

Nagy’s thirst for triathlons began innocuously enough.

“I bought a magazine, and I read a magazine article and I said, ‘oh I’d like to do that.’ That’s pretty much how it came to. And that was in 1986.”

At the time, Nagy did not know how to swim.

“I couldn’t swim then at all, so I taught myself to swim first—that winter.”

The following summer, he did his first race far from Prince Albert, in Weyburn.

“I couldn’t swim then at all, so I taught myself to swim first—that winter.” Mark Nagy

“So nobody would see me.”

He wasn’t the only one with that bright idea. As he was signing himself in he met two other residents of Prince Albert.

One of those was Greg Sylvester. He was also there for his first triathlon. He had also travelled the distance to avoid embarrassing himself in his hometown.

He was there for the same reason, Nagy said.

“So nobody would see him.”

That first Triathlon sparked a long line of races for both of them.

“Me and Greg are actually the ones that started that mini-triathlon,” Nagy said.

In 1990 it became the Mini Triathlon in support of the Terry Fox Run.

In 2006, Sylvester, who had previously survived cancer, passed away due to a sudden and unexpected heart attack, Nagy said.

Now the Mini Triathlon commemorates two athletes and the fight against cancer.

“It’s a personal thing. It’s not how you finish,” Nagy said, “as long as you finish it.”

Those wishing to participate in this weekend’s mini-triathlon are invited to come to the north side of Carlton Comprehensive’s pool at 10 a.m. on Sunday.

“All you need is a bike, running shoes and a bike helmet,” Nagy said and paused. “And ah, maybe a bathing suite. Preferably a bathing suite.”

Organizations: Prince Albert

Geographic location: Weyburn

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