Kids run a water station at last year’s race.

Sooke triathlon seeking volunteers

About half of 300 volunteer positions have been filled

The Subaru Sooke Triathlon will see about 500 to 600 athletes come to Sooke for preliminary events and the race itself from Aug. 10-12, and is currently in need of more volunteers to ensure the event will run smoothly.

So far, half of the 300 required volunteers have been acquired.

“Our doors are wide open for more volunteers, we need them for sure,” said race director, Matt Mortensen.

Mortensen said any volunteers who sign up now will most likely be in a marshalling position — a job that entails guiding competitors on run and bike courses.

There is also a need for volunteers to help set up and take down different equipment and objects for the race.

For groups who will do more heavy lifting and more labour intensive volunteer work, Lifesport — the organization company for the triathlon series — will provide honorariums. Groups of 15 will be given $350 and groups of 25 will be given $500.

“We try to support local groups and teams in the way of giving back to them financially for the help they give us.”

With about three weeks left, Mortensen said planning for the large event has been going well.

“Otherwise the organization is going well, we have been working very diligently on the road closure plan.”

The bike course will take place along West Coast Road, which will be closed from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. westbound and 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. eastbound on Aug. 12.

This year, a contingency plan was implemented where residents will be able to travel through from 8:30 to 9 a.m. for emergency purposes.

“We’re trying to create some flexibility, while at the same time we’re trying to make it safer,” Mortensen said.

But access at any other point in time during the closure will not be permitted.

In addition, Mortensen hopes members of the community and businesses will show their support for the triathlon by putting up signs and coming out to enjoy the race.

“We would love to have them put signs out and try to show the visitors how hospitable Sooke is,” he said.

As a long-time participant in triathlons, Mortensen said volunteers and community involvement are what makes a large triathlon event.

“I can tell you there’s not a competitor in the world that won’t say the same thing — that the volunteers make the race,” he said. “It doesn’t matter how well we dress it up, how beautiful the course is — it still comes down to the volunteers.”

To register to become a volunteer, visit: www. triseries.ca, and click on the ‘Volunteer tab’ under the Sooke race.