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Family-friendly Splash and Dash to debut in Diamond Valley

The Canada Day event is a fun and casual swim & run race for all ages, taking place at the pool in Turner Valley and along the Friendship Trail. It wraps up early, so participates can fit in all the other Canada Day activities in the area.
WW-Turner Valley Pool BWC 7700 web
A fun, family-friendly Splash and Dash will be held at the Dr. Lander Memorial Pool in Turner Valley this Canada Day. Participants will follow the splash with a dash along the Friendship Trail.

A Calgary-based event organizer has stepped in to fill a gap left when the Turner Valley Triathlon was retired by announcing a new, family-friendly event for all ages.

The Diamond Valley Splash and Dash will be a swim and run event on Canada Day. Roads will not be closed to traffic and no bikes will be required.

Race director Richelle Love is organizing the event with business partner Rose Serpico, who has done similar races in Hawaii. The two host local running and multi-sport races through their event company, RnR Premier Events.

“We thought there's no other race like that around. And it would be perfect for families,” Love said.

The race will start at 9 a.m. with a swim in the Dr. Lander Memorial Pool, followed by a run along the Friendship Trail. It is expected to be finished around 11 a.m.

“Being in an outdoor pool is something really special. That pool is absolutely so cool,” said Love, who ran in, and sponsored, the Turner Valley Triathlon in the past.

The racers will swim first, after setting their shoes in a designated spot in the swimming pool parking lot. They return after the swim, grab their shoes and run behind the Sheep River Library towards the Friendship Trail. It is an out-and-back race, with the finish line beside the gazebo in Millennium Park.

The little kids will just run to the gazebo, Love said, and participants will receive a medal, swag and a snack after the race.

The Alberta Triathlon Association-sanctioned event follows age-specific distance guidelines and lifejackets will be permitted in the pool, she said.

“Safety and fun are the number one priorities for this event.”

It’s not a crazy serious race, Love said, the goal is to see those kids cross the finish line with big smiles on their faces.

The hope is that participants and their families will be able to stay in the area to take part in Canada Day festivities and spend the day in Diamond Valley.

As the race grows, they would like to have an area at the finish line where local vendors to hold a market on race day.

“We do believe that it is going to build to be a really cool community event,” Love said, adding it had been in the works for a couple of years before COVID-19 hit.

The Turner Valley Triathlon was an annual event from 2009-16, when the family that organized it moved away from the area. After missing the triathlon, Love and Serpico were inspired to create the Splash and Dash in its new form.

“To have a little race where you really just need your bathing suit and a pair of shoes, and just create something really cool for the community,” Love said.

Registration for the Splash and Dash is open until June 30, with information available at Organizers are also looking for volunteers to help in various ways at the event. 

Robert Korotyszyn

About the Author: Robert Korotyszyn

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