Ryan MacDonald set for Melmerby Triathlon


MELMERBY BEACH – Ryan Shaun MacDonald says he’s ready to defend his Melmerby Olympic Triathlon.

The two-time champion is among those registered for the Olympics and other competitions based at Melmerby Beach on Sunday.

MacDonald, who hails from Green Hill, helped to prepare for his race by winning the Porter’s Lake Sprint Triathlon on July 7 in one hour, seven minutes and 59 seconds.

“It was nice to get a race in before Melmerby,” he said. “It’s pretty consistent at Porter’s Lake, but Melmerby can be hit or miss depending on the waves and wind direction.”

This will be MacDonald’s fourth Melmerby triathlon, and he’s trying to win his third straight Olympic race. He placed third in 2016 before winning in 2:08:57 in 2017 and winning in 2:02:54 last year.

He was a biking competitor before he started competing in triathlons. He puts his cycling talents to good use working at Pictou County Cycle.

He’s counting on improving his running, which is the area that needs it most. He more than holds his own in the water and on the bike.

“My fitness is good,” he said. “My cycling is strong, but I’m really trying to make a big improvement in my running. We have to be strong on the bike but running is where you win the races.”

The Melmerby Triathlon weekend features a Kids Triathlon of various distances on Saturday, followed by a Try-A-Tri, Super Sprint, Sprint and Olympic triathlon on Sunday.

Teams are also welcome in all events.

The kids’ triathlon requires no pre-registration. Registration on Saturday is at 8 a.m. and events start at 9 a.m. Registration is free and the events are non-competitive with no times recorded.

Times are staggered for the triathlon races on Sunday after a briefing at 8:15 a.m. at the beach. The races are sold out and have been since March, although race director Terry Curley said openings may arise with cancellations.

The Olympic triathlon will start at 8:30 a.m. and consists of a 1.5-kilometre, swim, 40-K bike ride and a 10-K run.

The sprint will start at 9 a.m. and includes a 750-metre swim, 20-K bike ride and 5-K run.

The Try-A-Tri and Super Sprint both start at 9:15 a.m. and features a 200-metre swim, 10-K bike ride and 2-K run.

The swim course is a rectangular loop the Olympic racers complete twice and sprinters swim once.

The cycling route is a loop course to Lewis Road and back.

The run is a loop course to the end of the beach road.

Ryan Shaun MacDonald works on a bicycle at Pictou County Cycle. (Goodwin photo)