Triple Threat Triathlon Club history

Club founders

The Triple Threat Triathlon club was formed in 1983 as a means of promoting triathlon in Manitoba. Philip Roadley was Triple Threat's founder and first president. The club started with 15 to 20 members.

In 1985, the Triple Threat Triathlon Club evolved into the Manitoba Triathlon Association because triathlon enthusiasts wanted to join the Manitoba Sports Federation (which became Sport Manitoba in 1996).

The Manitoba Triathlon Association was the precursor to Triathlon Manitoba. To start fresh when becoming incorporated in 1989, the name was changed to Triathlon Manitoba.

In autumn 1995, David Markham approached Mitch & Terry Kolbuck, Barry & Pauline Breiter, and Arthur & Suzanne Gzebowski about forming a triathlon club that would deliver a high performance training program to their kids (Corey --12, Kevin -- 14, Dominique -- 13) and other kids (including Brent & Amber Miller and Justin Campbell a year later), and a lifestyle fitness triathlon program to their parents and other adults. The Triple Threat name was revived for the club. A constitution was written in October 1997. It was later re-written by Barry Briscoe in September 1991 and amended in

2003. David’s original Triple Threat youth program evolved into Triathlon Manitoba's Junior Development Team (youth and junior program) from 1997 to 2001

Club presidents

  • 1995 to 2001: Mitch Kolbuck
  • 2001 to 2004: Barry Briscoe
  • 2004 to 2008: Karen Armstrong
  • 2008 to 2010: Kathryn Smandych
  • 2010 to 2014: Kate Okany
  • 2014 to 2017: Julie Vogelsang
  • 2017 to Present: Kevin Read

 Club coaches 

  • 1996 to 1998: David Markham
  • 1998 to 2000: Philippe Chabot
  • 2000 to 2001: no coach
  • 2001 to 2002: Philippe Chabot (Triathlon Manitoba's Coach of the Year in 2002)
  • 2002 to 2003: no coach
  • 2003 to Spring 2008. Dave Lipchen (Triathlon Manitoba's Coach of the Year in 2005)
  • Spring 2008 to Spring 2012: Terri Wolfe
  • Spring 2012 to 2014: Mark Okany
  • Fall 2014: Janessa Klatt
  • Jan to Jun 2015: Diane Borges
  • Jul 2015 to 2017: Janessa Klatt
  • 2017 to Present: Tom Okany

 Club indoor winter training venues

  • 1999 to 2005: Max Bell at the UofManitoba
  • 2005 to 2007: Rady Centre
  • 2007 to 2012: Reh-Fit
  • 2012 to present: Max Bell at the UofManitoba

Note that the club’s season starts in early November and ends in late August, so a president’s year, a coach’s year, and an indoor training venue’s year usually start in November.

Club-sponsored events

Tuesday Night Race Series (1996 & 1997)

In 1996, the resurrected Triple Threat Triathlon Club helped organize the Tuesday Night Race series at Birds Hill Park. Prairie Events Group, David Markham’s race organization company, had organized the series for many years. Triple Threat again helped organize it in 1997.

In 1998, the Tuesday Night Race series was cancelled because Birds Hill Park's roadways and the East Beach parking lot were being repaved for the 1998 Canadian Triathlon Championships and 1999 Pan Am Games. Triple Threat was not involved with the race series when it resumed in 1999.

Snowman Triathlon (1993 to 2003)

David Markham organized the Snowman Triathlon for a few years starting in 1987. The distances were a 7K cross country ski from Springhill to Harbour View, a 7K run through Harbour View, and a 7K skate at Harbour View.

David revived the race in February 1993 as a 7K run + 7K ski + 7K skate at Harbour View, and he added a Little Snowman / Kids of Steel event (2K + 2K + 2K). Triple Threat helped organize the race. Attendance was a very healthy 70 kids and 105 Snowman Triathletes.

Triple Threat took over the race in February 1996 (the year of drastically shortened courses because of 10cm of snow overnight), but David remained as the Race Director. Triple Threat member Cameron Gray took over in 1998, the 1999 race was cancelled because of a lack of snow, Monica Godar took over in 2000, and Brent Miller directed the race in 2001 and 2002. Attendance had been steadily declining, so Brent introduced a cross-country run course and an option to do either a ski or bike on the second leg in 2002, but attendance only increased to 33 from 26 the previous year. After the

2003 race was postponed and then cancelled on two successive weekends because of cold temperature, the race was shelved.

Buffalo Point Sprint Triathlon & Duathlon (1996 to 1999)

Triple Threat members Arthur & Suzanne Gzebowski had a cottage at Buffalo Point in the NW Angle Provincial Forest, which is in the extreme SE corner of Manitoba, 1K from the USA. When the Buffalo Point First Nation paved their road from highway 12 to the Buffalo Point Resort in the spring of 1996, the Buffalo Point Sprint Triathlon was born. Triple Threat helped organize the event during its four-year run. In 1997 and 1999, the event served as a Junior Development Team Camp and the Manitoba-Saskatchewan Regional Youth Championships. Ironically, it was the one-time change of the event's date from mid-July to mid-August in 1999 to accommodate the Regional Youth Championships that led to the

termination of the race because there wasn't a free weekend in July on Triathlon Manitoba's 2000 Events Calendar for the race to move back to.

Triple Threat Triathlon & Duathlon

1996

  • On Sunday June 9, Triple Threat organized the first Triple Threat Duathlon (4K + 24K + 4K) from Birds Hill Park East Beach’s east parking lot.
  • Race Director: David Markham.
  • David patterned the event from the Manitoba Duathlon Championships he had organized in May 1995. The bike course went directly from East Beach to highway 206, looped along rural roads, and then returned directly to East Beach because Birds Hill Park's ring road was in such bad condition that many athletes refused to participate in an event that used it. (In fact, attendance at the Tuesday Night Race series began to stagnate in the mid 1990s or exactly the same reason.)
  • Attendance: 36

 1997

  • The 2nd Triple Threat Duathlon was exactly the same event on the same weekend
  • Race Director: David Markham
  • Attendance: 35

 1998

  • The 3rd and final Triple Threat Duathlon was held on Saturday May 9, just prior to the beginning of the roadway and lake re-construction in Birds Hill Park. This was the only year that the race hasn't been held on the 2nd weekend in June (the weekend prior to the Father's Day / Manitoba Marathon weekend). Again, it was exactly the ame event as in 1996 and 1997.
  • Race Director: David Markham
  • Attendance: 43

 1999

  • The race was changed to the Triple Threat Triathlon & Duathlon (Olympic Triathlon and Long Duathlon), and it became part of Triathlon Manitoba's Grand Prix Series. It remained on Saturday.
  • The bike course was the one used for the 1998 Canadian Triathlon Championships and the 1999 Pan Am Games triathlon: three 13.3K loops of the park, with each lap starting and ending at the East Beach east parking lot.
  • Race Director: David Markham
  • Attendance: 51

 2000

  • The 2000 Triple Threat Triathlon & Duathlon was cancelled one hour after the scheduled race start because of severe thunderstorms.
  • Race Director: David Markham

 2001

  • The race hosted the Manitoba High School Championships (the last one ever held) and the Canadian Junior triathlon Championships.
  • Sprint Triathlon was introduced to the race.
  • Race Director: Barry Briscoe
  • Attendance: 163, a jump of 112 racers from 1999.

 2002

  • The race became part of a race weekend. The 10 year old Transcona Kids of Steel, which had been directed by Triple Threat member Philippe Chabot and supported by the club for a few years, moved from the 1st Saturday in June to the 2nd Saturday, and it became the Triple Threat Kids of Steel & Try-a-Tri. Race Director: Philippe Chabot. Attendance: 128.
  • The Triple Threat Triathlon & Duathlon moved from Saturday to Sunday.
  • Race Director: Barry Briscoe.
  • Attendance: 68 hardy athletes started the race. The weather was brutal: 13 degrees, rain/overcast/drizzle, and 30 KPH gusting to 50 KPH NE winds. There were over 100 pre-registrants, but over 1/3 of them did not start the race.

 2003

  • Triple Threat Kids of Steel & Try-a-Tri Race Director: Brent Miller. Attendance: 130.
  • Triple Threat Triathlon & Duathlon
  • Online registration (EventsOnline.ca) was used for the first time. Race Director: Barry Briscoe.
  • Attendance: 159.

 2004

  • Triple Threat Kids of Steel & Try-a-Tri
  • Race Director: Brent Miller.
  • The Kids of Steel race was the Manitoba Games Qualifier for Winnipeg, so it attracted 140 participants despite very strong wind.
  • Triple Threat Triathlon & Duathlon Race Director: Barry Briscoe. Attendance: 131 on a poor weather day.

 2005

  • Triple Threat Kids of Steel & Try-a-Tri
  • Race Director: Brent Miller.
  • Attendance: 174 (the all-time record) on a beautiful day.
  • Triple Threat Triathlon & Duathlon: Race Director: Jaromir Samek. Sprint Duathlon was introduced.
  • The Transition zone was moved from East Beachís east parking lot to the grass immediately east of it. Attendance: 113. Poor weather again: the rain stopped just before race start, but it was very windy, the pavement was wet, and the transition zone on the grass became very muddy.

 2006

  • The Try-a-Tri was moved from the Saturday Kids of Steel race to Sunday, and a Tri-a-Du was introduced
  • Triple Threat Kids of Steel Race Director: Brent Miller. Attendance: 162.
  • Triple Threat Triathlon, Duathlon, Try-a-Tri, & Try-a-Du
  • Race Director: Jaromir Samek.
  • Attendance: 174 (a new record).

 2007

  • Starting in 2007, one person was the Race Director for the entire weekend.
  • Race Director: Karen Armstrong.
  • Kids of Steel
  • Attendance: 141.
  • Triple Threat Triathlon, Duathlon, Try-a-Tri, & Try-a-Du
  • Attendance: 189 (a new record) on a beautiful day.

 2008

  • Race Director: Kate Okany.
  • Kids of Steel
  • Attendance: 99. The race served as the Winnipeg qualifier for the Manitoba Summer Games, but it was a cool day with a strong gusty wind and 15 degree C water, which resulted in the race changing to a duathlon on race morning.
  • Triple Threat Triathlon, Duathlon, Tri-a-Tri, & Tri-a-Du
  • Attendance: 183, but cold water prompted many participants to switch from triathlon to duathlon.

 2009

  • Race Director: Kate Okany
  • Kids of Steel
  • Attendance: 105. 12 degree water resulted in the race being changed to a duathlon for the 2nd year in a row.
  • Triple Threat Triathlon, Duathlon, Try-a-Tri, & Try-a-Du
  • The race served as ìTeck Cominco National Junior Series race #1 / Western Canadian Junior Championship.
  • Chip timing (Results Canada Steve Gajerski) was used for the first time.
  • Attendance: 193 (a new record), but 63 were junior athletes from across Canada.
  • The water temperature was 13 degrees (wetsuits mandatory), so the handful of Try-a-Tri registrants were moved to the Try-a-Du.

 2010

  • Race Director: Kate Okany.
  • The role of Assistant Race Director was created, and Scott Munn performed that role.
  • Kids of Steel
  • Attendance: 87 (a new record low). The water was a cool 16 degrees.
  • Triple Threat Triathlon, Duathlon, Try-a-Tri, & Try-a-Du
  • Timing & results reverted back to the velcro band / TimeTech Sprint 8 / Race Wizard Software system (Kevin & Anita Miller), as it had been every year prior to 2009.
  • Attendance: 180.

 2011

  • Race Director: Scott Munn. Assistant Race Director: Kate Okany.

  • Kids of Steel Attendance was 52 (the all-time record low). 16 degree water was 13 degree earlier in the week when the race was changed to a duathlon for the 3rd time in 4 years.
  • Triple Threat Triathlon, Duathlon, Try-a-Tri, & Try-a-Du
  • Chip timing (raceresults.ca - Steve Gajerski) was used for the second time. Attendance: 160.

 2012

  • Race Director: Scott Munn. Assistant Race Director: Leo Savoie.
  • Kids of Steel
  • Attendance: 84.
  • Triple Threat Triathlon, Duathlon, Try-a-Tri, & Try-a-Du
  • Registration was by EventsOnline.ca for the last time. Timing & results was the velcro band / TimeTech Sprint 8 /
  • Race Wizard Software system (Kevin & Anita Miller) for the last time.
  • Attendance: 217 (a new record). It was a warm day with 22 degree C water (record warm).

 2013

  • Race Director: Kate Okany. Assistant Race Director: Heather McDonell.
  • Kids of Steel
  • Attendance: 76.
  • Triple Threat Triathlon, Duathlon, Try-a-Tri, & Try-a-Du
  • The race was part of the national junior race series.
  • Registration was by Pure Lifestyle for the first time, and chip timing was by SportStats of Ottawa (Doug Liversidge).
  • Attendance: 214. 66 were juniors from across Canada who raced in the junior series race.

 2014

  • Race Director: Heather McDonell. Assistant Race Director: Dawna Atamanchuk.
  • Kids of Steel
  • Attendance: 58.
  • Triple Threat Triathlon, Duathlon, Try-a-Tri, & Try-a-Du
  • Registration was again by Pure Lifestyle and chip timing was by raceresults.ca (Steve Gajerski).
  • Attendance: 189. Race conditions were good, but it had been a very late spring following the coldest winter in 100 years, and the water temperature was single digits a couple weeks prior to the race.

 2015

  • Race Director: Heather McDonell. Assistant Race Director: Dawna Atamanchuk.
  • Kids of Steel
  • Attendance: 74.
  • Triple Threat Triathlon, Duathlon, Try-a-Tri, & Try-a-Du
  • Registration was again by Pure Lifestyle and chip timing was by raceresults.ca (Steve Gajerski).
  • Attendance: 238 (a new record). Race conditions (temperature, wind, water) were excellent. Race promo on Facebook was excellent.

 2016

  • Race Director: Dawna Atamanchuk. Race Director Canada Games Test Event: Kate Okany
  • Kids of steel
  • Attendance: 74
  • Saturday: total of 83 broken out as:
  • CG Test Event: 48
  • Sprint Draft Legal Age Group Worlds Qualifier: 35
  • Duathlon World Qualifier
  • Junior Elites and Youth Elites from various provinces were in attendance at the race.
  • Sunday races: Triple Threat Triathlon sprint distance, Olympic distance World Qualifier, Duathlon, Try-a-Tri, & Try-a-Du, Olympic Aquabike
  • Registration was again by Pure Lifestyle and chip timing was by raceresults.ca (Steve Gajerski).
  • Attendance: 190
  • Saturday race conditions were good (temperature, wind, water).
  • Sunday race conditions had water temperature around 20 degrees but involved a torrential downpour with high winds gusting up to 65km/h that delayed the race start but the race was still able to be completed. The epically brutal race conditions were compared to the 2002 race where the winds had gusted up to 50km.

By Mail:

Triple Threat Triathlon Club c/o 140 Stanier St. Winnipeg, MB R2L 1N3