From the Comox Valley Record, May 27, 2023
Frontrunners Fit Chiropractic Dodge City X, the Comox Valley’s only off-road triathlon, returns for its fifth year on Sept. 9 with renewed excitement and a refreshingly bold stance on inclusivity.
Steam Donkey Racing, the host organization, has launched a “Diversity Kicks Ass” campaign ahead of its 2023 event, for which it has restructured its gender categories in an effort to strengthen both inclusivity and fairness. Rather than the binary choice of male and female genders, participants of this year’s race will compete in either “female” or “open” categories while a separate, non-competitive, “gender non-binary” option is also available.
“No one should ever be made to feel like a round peg trying to fit into a square hole,” says race director Ryan Parton. “Biological females who continue to identify as such will compete in the female category. Everyone else under the rainbow has the open category, without any judgment, expectations or questions asked. Whoever you are, and however you express your identity, you’re welcome at our event.”
Frontrunners Fit Chiropractic Dodge City X features a 1.5-km swim in Comox Lake followed by a 23-km mountain bike and a 9.5-km trail run through Cumberland’s “legendary” singletrack network. A roughly half-distance sprint course is also available, as is a relay option. This year’s race will also serve as the 2023 Canadian Cross Triathlon Championship and a qualifier for the World Cross Triathlon Championship in Townsville, Australia.
Although the event appears to be the first off-road triathlon in Canada to move away from traditional gender categories, it follows the lead of organizations like FINA, which governs international swimming competitions, and World Athletics, both of which recently adopted policies aiming to preserve the competitive integrity of female sport. What sets the local event apart, says Parton, is its concurrent commitment to “radical inclusivity.”
“Endurance sport is an overwhelmingly positive and unifying force,” he says. “There’s enough divisiveness in this world; no matter who you are, if you’re ready to challenge yourself in the water or on the trails, we have a spot for you on our start line.”
To learn more about Frontrunners Fit Chiropractic Dodge City X or to register, visit www.dodgecityx.ca.