Today’s Poll

Nothing can rain on Steve Archdekin's triathlon parade

The Nelson Daily Sports
By The Nelson Daily Sports
August 17th, 2012

Information on the Nelson Cyswog’n’Fun website says the triathlon event, which celebrated its 30th birthday B.C. Day weekend, is “for everyone from top-ranking amateurs to adult and youth participants who are entering for pure enjoyment.”

However, there’s one competitor entering the 30th bash not feeling the love and enjoyment from the organizing committee.

On the morning of race day (Sunday, August 5) a committee member denied seven-time Cyswog’n’Fun participant Steve Archdekin entrance into the long course race.

Archdekin said he was told he would not meet the swim standard time for the Olympic course and was offered a spot in the sprint distance instead.

 “(The decision) both crushed me and infuriated me,” Archdekin told The Nelson Daily.

“I couldn’t race under those conditions,” Archdekin added. “Going down to the short course would have engulfed my mind with anger.

“I don’t race for awards or recognition or whatever. I race for me because I love it. They would have taken that away from me and there’s no way I was going to let them do that to me.”

It should be noted that Steve Archdekin is not your typical triathlete.

The Ontario native was diagnosed with Reiter’s Syndrome — a form of arthritis that produces pain, swelling, redness, and heat in the joints.

However, instead of letting the disease get the better of him, Archdekin decided to forget about all his aches and pains and live life.

Life for Steve Archdekin is competing in triathlons.

“To make a long story short, I hadn’t raced (in Nelson) in a few years so I was psyched,” Archdekin explained. “I also hadn’t doubled up to the Olympic distance yet this year, so what better place to do it than at my home race.”

“Well, no such luck . . .. They wouldn’t let me,” he adds.

The Olympic, or long course at the Cyswog’n’Fun is a 1.5 kilometer swim, a 39 kilometer cycle followed up with a 10 kilometer run.

The Sprint, or short course is a 500-meter swim, a 22-kilometer bike and a five-kilometer run.

Bill Harbord, out-going race director, speaks for the Nelson Cyswog’n’Fun committee.

While Harbord was not involved in the Archdekin decision, he agrees all competitors must meet Triathlon B.C. standards to enter a race.

“We get our insurance from Triathlon BC, so we have to adhere to those rules,” Harbord said.

“And our lake is on the colder side . . .. For some people it’s fine but I’d be hesitant to allow someone to swim longer than the allotted time,” Harbord added. “That’s the reason why we put the sprint course in.”

Harbord said the Cyswog’n’Fun committee maybe feeling a little gun shy after the 2011 race when volunteers pulled two swimmers from the water suffering from hypothermia.

“That sort of made us ultra-conscious of the safety issues,” Harbord said.

Archdekin did not compete in the 2012 race.

After getting the bad news he decided to leave the race area to calm his frustrations.

But he was back at Lakeside at 1 p.m., wetsuit in hand ready to run his own race.

“I started at 1 p.m. and was back at my van at 2:38 p.m. taking my wetsuit off after putting in 3.5 kilometers,” Archdekin confessed.

Archdekin’s cycle stage was cut short eight kilometers from town due to a flat tire.

Ironically, Archdekin earned a ride back to Lakeside from a Western Auto wrecker.

“He stopped to offer me a ride into town, rigged my bike up on the back of his truck for the ride back to Lakeside,” Archdekin said.

“Yup, (Western) even tows bikes.”

After unloading the bike, the clock read 6:15 p.m. Archdekin put in about 6.5 kilometers of the run stage before he had to get ready for work.

Archdekin has been like a machine when it comes to triathlons.

He’s raced in Calgary and Vancouver.

He’s raced throughout the Okanagan.

He’s run marathon’s in Portland,Ore., and Las Vegas and run in both the short (five times) and Olympic (twice, 2007 & 2008) distances in Nelson.

“The Nelson race left a bad taste in my mouth and I am done with it, but it also has somewhat changed my thinking within all of triathlon and really made me see it isn’t a place that fully embraces someone like me,” Archdekin explains.

“But I love it too much to let them take it all away from me . . . I’ll just do it for myself for the most part.”

“The one thing I am looking forward to is when I do four triathlons over eight days in September — one sprint and three Olympic (distances).

“I’ll see if that leaves a challenge for me.”




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