Organizers of the Subaru Sooke Triathlon pulled the plug. This means no more runners, swimmers and cyclists pounding through the gruelling one-day event in the Sooke area.
What many fail to realize is that the District of Sooke was not the instigator in cancelling the triathlon. It was a decision made by LifeSport because many residents along Hwy. 14 did not want a road closure for the duration of the race. In a survey conducted by the OPSRRA the majority of 72 respondents did not support the road closure. Juan de Fuca regional director Mike Hicks stated in a letter in the SNM on Sept. 19 he did not support the road closure.
He said no one called, emailed or talked to him about the impact and he wonders why. It was his decision but perhaps it could have been changed with more input from all residents of the region.
LifeSport and Subaru were well aware of the opinions of residents west of Sooke. They had ample time to consider another route but decided it was Hwy. 14 or nothing, stating the triathlon had grown bigger and the previous route was not adequate. Really? Was Young Lake also too small? Were there no other alternatives? Couldn’t something be worked out? The decision to cancel the event was made by LifeSports alone, but based on the lack of support for the highway closure. This was a three-way partnership (Subaru, LifeSport and the District of Sooke) and Sooke never got an opportunity to state their case. Sooke spent a lot of money making sure this event happened and that Sooke was showcased. Can anything be done to rectify the situation? Who knows. Should it be reinstated? Probably. Perhaps the triathlon was a hapless victim of its own success.