Ottawa is one of
Canada's triathlon hotbeds, with a history that goes all the way
back to the 1970's, not long after the sport was born. The
region is home to classic races and many athletes who have made
their mark on the local, national and international triathlon
scene. This is our page through which to celebrate this history
and pay tribute to those that played a role.
if you have any additional information. Many thanks to all
who have already contributed to this article.
- Colonel By Tri first takes place, featuring a 5 k paddle/20k
bike/5k run. The race was done in pairs, and you were allowed to
draft your partner. Perhaps the first triathlon to take place in
Canada. Transition zone was at the Rideau Canoe Club.
- (June 28) Smith's Falls Triathlon takes place with 12
participants, each paying an entry fee of $3.
- Organized by Andrew Comstock (age 17) and Bernard Merkley (age
18). They continued to direct the event for another 11 years.
- They were inspired by an article in Runners World about the
Hawaii Ironman. Bernard's older brother Peter challenged them by
saying if they organized a race, he would enter.
- Believed to be the first swim/bike/run triathlon ever in
Canada, it was won by Dave Dyer.
- The race started at 2:30pm and featured a 400m swim
(advertised as 800m), then a 40k bike to Perth and back, then
arrived back in time to run the Pioneer Track Club 10k race at
4pm. There was actually a short break after the bike as they
waited for the start of the 10k race; a good thing since it was
hot on the day.
- Dr. Don Johnson, Dave Dyer, Kirk Defazio, and Ron Phillips
become first locals and quite possibly the first Canadians to
compete in the Hawaii Ironman.
- National Capital Triathlon, started by Dave Dyer. First
winners were Bruce McNicol and Marie-Josee Cossette, 2km swim,
55km bike and 15km run. The event was supported by the OAC and
Rideau Canoe Club. The latter of which was host of the event.
- The Winterlude Triathlon started, organised by Andrew Barron,
a former national team speed skater.
- The first OAC Triathlon takes place in July in Gatineau Park
under the guidance of Race Director Mike Collingwood. The OAC
Tri, now named in honour of Mike, is the longest continually run
triathlon event in Canada. (SF had a year or two off in the
early 90's.) They decided to move the event as far away in the
schedule and geographically as they could to protect the
National Capital Tri, which Mike also helped to organize.
- The first Deep River Triathlon takes in August. It too has
continued every year since, without a break.
- Dorothy Dickie of Nepean becomes the first local woman to
compete in the Hawaii Ironman. She then did it again in 1984.
- Sharbot Lake Triathlon first takes place, organized by Rudy
and Joan Hollywood
- Vincent Lo Monaco of Ottawa completed Ironman Japan in 13:30,
one of the first Ironman competitions (along with New Zealand
that year) to take place outside of Hawaii.
- Mike Scott takes over as Race Director of the National Capital
Triathlon from Dave Dyer.
- Terry McKinty of TBM takes over ownership and directorship of
National Capital Tri, the Colonel By Canoe Tri and the Smiths
- Started TriRudy.com newsletter in __. The daily mailing is now
a source of information and inspiration to over 5000 triathletes
from Ottawa and further afield.
- Organized first Sharbot Lake Triathlon in 1984
- Race Director of the OAC Triathlon from 1994 through 2006.
- A tireless volunteer who contributed countless hours each
weekend at races all over the region.
- Mike passed away in December of 2006. The OAC Tri is now named
in his honour, The Mike Collingwood Memorial Triathlon.
- Owner of first TBM and now Somersault Promotions, the
company behind the majority of multi-sport events held in the
region over the last 18 years.
- The founder and driving force behind Ottawa's Kids of Steel
- A National Duathlon Champion and dominant local athlete,
Somersault's July race is named in honour of Graeme to remember
his spirit and sportsmanship.
Our region has been home to many outstanding
triathletes over the years. The following athletes have either
competed as professionals or had long and successful careers as
- The first great
local triathlete. Won the National Capital Triathlon in 1983,
'85, '87, '89, and '91 as well as the OAC Tri a number of times
- Ironman Triathlete in 1990's, two-time Ironman Champion and
regularly placed in top five
- A professional athlete for five years and Champion at Muskoka
Long Course champ and Subaru Series
- Member of the Canadian National Elite Triathlon team from 1994
- Coach and owner of Cyclelogik
- Raced on the French professional team based in Salon de
Provence in 1989/90/91
- Has been to the World Short Course Triathlon Championships as
an Elite 3 times
- Currently coach with Zone3Sports and still actively competing
- Three-time National Champion
- PanAm Gold Medalist
- Member of the Canadian Olympic Team in Sydney 2000
- Two-time Ironman Wisconsin champion
- Two-time Canadian Long Distance Champion
John Westal - Raced in France, late 80's/early
Phil Hunter - Raced pro in early 90's
Jamie Stephenson - National Junior Champion in
Mike Greenberg - National Junior Champion in