TriMuskokan proceeds to support new project to install public open-air fitness stations



In 2015, TriMuskoka, a local triathlon club, launched what would become a beloved event for both experienced athletes and those who wanted to try a triathlon out for the first time. The TriMuskokan came after a long history of short-course triathlons, reaching back to the early 1990s, in the area that gave way over time to longer races like the Ironman 70.3.

The club had noticed that there were gaps in the opportunities available for athletes to attempt a triathlon and to make a goal that they could use to pursue active and healthy lifestyles. Their answer was the TriMuskokan, an event rather than a race that’s as much about the fun as it is about the challenge. And as a nonprofit organization, any proceeds from TriMuskoka events like the TriMuskokan are used to support the community in some way.

For its fifth year, TriMuskoka will be directing funds to a new initiative: the MSCLE Project (Movement for Strength, Conditioning, and Active Lifestyles for Everyone).

This multi-phased project aims to install easily accessible, open-air fitness stations in public spaces around Huntsville.

“We want to get people moving and allow people to become more active and spend more time moving and less time not doing things to improve their health and to set a good example for children,” said TriMuskokan coordinator, Rich Trenholm.

The project would include stand-alone park-bench fitness stations, body-weight open-air plyometric and calisthenic gyms, a parkour-style obstacle course, and aerobic workouts to link all of the movement equipment together. The total cost of the project will be between $250,000 to $350,000. Community fundraising will provide the bulk of the funding; corporate partnerships and government grants would help bring the idea to life sooner rather than later.

The fifth annual TriMuskokan will be held in Huntsville on Sunday, June 23. “We are knocking it out of the park this year,” said Trenholm.

The event is sold out for the second year in a row, despite an extra 40 spaces being added. There are a total of 415 participants—350 individuals and 22 relay teams—supported by more than 60 volunteers.

“We have seen a steady increase in the number of local businesses participating at our corporate relay division to use it as a team-building exercise, and I think they have a lot of fun doing it as well,” added Trenholm. The popular event always attracts between 200 to 300 spectators cheering on the athletes around Huntsville.

Some favourite event elements are back for 2019, including the Portage Flyer train ride down to the swim starting area and a homemade buffet prepared by chef Freddy Kenzle for all athletes and volunteers to enjoy after the race. As always, there is great swag to take home including a new addition this year: a can of either Canvas Brewing Company beer (for those who are of age) or a can of Tapped Maple Water to celebrate with at home after the race.

Trenholm said that the courses are in good shape for the event. There may be temporary road closures around the Canada Summit Centre but the building and area will still remain open to the public. Athletes will be cycling out to Newholm on Brunel Road with the OPP controlling traffic along the way—please respect the safety of all athletes while driving.

He adds that the TriMuskokan cannot put on such an enjoyable and amazing event without the rock-solid support of multiple sponsors over the last five years, and sends thanks to all of them and especially to short course title sponsor BDO Huntsville, try-a-tri title sponsor Kimberly-Clark, swim course sponsor Holiday Inn, bike course sponsor Muskoka Medical Centre Pharmacy, and run course sponsor Greystone.

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  1. Awesome idea to have fitness equipment set up for public use. I have seen a variety of these venues in parks around Toronto. Well signed with instructions and fitness/safety tips. Our old fitness trail along Hunters Bay trail certainly isn’t usable any more. Where would this installation be put? Accessible and visible?

    • Hi there Kathy,
      As we are still in the planning stages, we don’t have exact locations. This will be discussed and negotiated with the town. But the plan would be to put them in locations that will be accessible to all community residents.

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