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Hundreds brave sweltering heat at Toronto Triathlon Festival

cbc.ca logo cbc.ca 2019-07-20 CBC/Radio-Canada

It's the GTA's hottest day so far in 2019, but Saturday's sweltering heat didn't stop hundreds of triathletes from taking part in the Toronto Triathlon Festival at Ontario Place.

The two-day event, which continues on Sunday, saw mixed teams comprising two women and two men competing in swimming, cycling and running.

The Greater Toronto Area had a daytime high of 34 C, though it felt more like 44 C with the humidex. 

Garrick Loewen told CBC Toronto that the secret to competing in the extreme heat is "to really just get the fluids in, trying to keep that core temperature down."

"It's just a way to push myself and find out what my limits are … seeing how fast I can get, what I can do with my body," Loewen said.

a group of people posing for the camera: Hundreds of triathletes took part in the Toronto Triathlon Festival at Ontario Place. © James Morrison/CBC Hundreds of triathletes took part in the Toronto Triathlon Festival at Ontario Place.

Stay well hydrated

Anastasia Konovalenko has some advice for newcomers to triathlon and those thinking about becoming triathletes.

"You just have to make sure you stay well hydrated. If you are doing your runs, try to do it early morning or late evening, but stay hydrated," she said.

"It's a bit of an extra strain. Your heart rate might go up a little bit," she said about competing in the heat.

While noting that she is not a fan of competing in this weather, Konovalenko said "you can't pick the weather on a race day."

a group of people holding a sign: Participants challenged their physical abilities in swimming, cycling and running. © James Morrison/CBC Participants challenged their physical abilities in swimming, cycling and running.

Peter Machalek was accompanied by his dad, who was doing his first triathlon.

"I signed up a little while ago so I'm here no matter the weather. If it's raining, pouring or sunny skies I'm going to be here regardless," Machalek said.

a person posing for the camera: Peter Machalek was accompanied by his dad who was doing his first triathlon. © James Morrison/CBC Peter Machalek was accompanied by his dad who was doing his first triathlon.

Josh Umansky emerged as the overall winner on day one while Kate Fletcher was the first female to cross the finish line.

It feels "pretty good," Umansky said.

"I've been racing triathlon since 2010 so this is just a warm up race for the season."

For her part, Fletcher said "it was hard, but it was fun."

"I've been doing it for eight years but it's really fun. I want to keep doing it. I just find it really fun. With three different sports you don't get bored," Fletcher added.

a man wearing sunglasses posing for the camera: Hundreds of triathletes took part in the Toronto Triathlon Festival at Ontario Place. © James Morrison/CBC Hundreds of triathletes took part in the Toronto Triathlon Festival at Ontario Place.
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