Triathlon event goes to the dogs

NANAIMO – Organizers looking for participants to register and start training for TriRuff K9 Xterra.

Del Beaulac

Dogs and their human best friends are training to test their mettle in an event unique to Vancouver Island.

The 2014 TriRuff K9 Xterra, a triathlon event, happens at Westwood Lake Oct. 4 when dog/owner teams take to an 18-kilometre cross-country course featuring mountain bike, run and swim stages.

“We mountain bike 12 km up Mount Benson, up behind the lake,” said Del Beaulac, event coordinator and participant. “We do a 300-metre swim and then when you finish the swim, you do the 6 km trail around Westwood.”

It’s all done with a dog on-leash.

There is no restriction as to the kind of dog – any breed from teacup chihuahua to Great Dane is welcome – but all participating dogs must be between the ages of two and 10 and in good health. Dogs must also submit to checkups by veterinarians before and after the event and at checkpoints along the way to make sure the dogs are not injured or stressed. There are also mandatory timed rest stops.

The Xterra is not a race. Teams are started three minutes apart and are up against the clock to log the best time around the course.

“It’s more of an endurance race and not a speed race,” Beaulac said. “It’s a matter of finishing, not so much how fast you finish, although some people work on their personal bests. Personally, I just flop over the finish line and be grateful that I actually finished.”

Last year people in their 20s to mid 60s participated. Beaulac, 60, said she only learned how to mountain bike while training for the the 2013 event. Beaulac said the toughest part of training was learning to ride with a dog on a leash.

“A lot of people are worried that it’s too hard for them,” Beaulac said. “It kind of promotes getting in shape. A lot of people run with their dogs, a lot of people bike with their dogs, but it’s not beyond the average person to complete.”

Just seven teams turned out for the first running of the event last year, but Beaulac said there is space for up to 30 teams.

For more information or to register, please visit the event website at

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

Just Posted

VIU and Nanaimo high schools host Skills Canada competitions

Central Island and Sunshine Coast high school student compete for spots on provincials and nationals

Taxi driver taken to hospital after crashing cab into utility pole

Accident happened Thursday afternoon on Big Bear Ridge

Beefs & Bouquets, Feb. 27

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail

Nanaimo woman leaves friend’s home, now considered missing

Ashley Sheppard, 31, has not been heard from since Feb. 10

Francophone festivities in Nanaimo this weekend

French Canadian culture and cuisine highlight Maple Sugar Festival du Sucre d’Érable

Taxi driver taken to hospital after crashing cab into utility pole

Accident happened Thursday afternoon on Big Bear Ridge

Nanaimo woman to compete in new season of ‘Big Brother Canada’

Carol Rosher, a cancer survivor, is one of 16 houseguests appearing on reality TV show

Wellington Jazz Academy has strong showing at Surrey Schools Jazz Festival

Senior band and individual students earn top awards

Speaker ‘will not tolerate illegal activity’ on B.C. legislature grounds, says chief of staff

Chief of staff to the B.C. speaker Alan Mullen says situation with demonstrators appears ‘fluid’

Banned Nanaimo investment advisor accused of lying under oath to investigators

B.C. Securities Commission to schedule hearing in March

Dates back to 2009: Calgary police lay charges in fraud involving semi-trucks

Three people from Calgary are facing charges that include fraud over $5,000

Comox 442 Squadron carries out two sea rescue missions north of Vancouver Island

Submitted by Lt. Alexandra Hejduk Special to Black Press 442 Transport and… Continue reading

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs optimistic ahead of talks with feds, province

Discussions with provincial and federal governments expected to start later today

Most Read