History of Triathlon In Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan Triathlon Association Corporation History


The Saskatchewan Triathlon Association Corporation

The Early Years

In the Winter of 1985, Don Gallo, Founding President of the Saskatchewan Triathlon Association Corporation issued our first newsletter. This newsletter's opening paragraph provides an excellent summary of the beginnings of STAC:

Editor's Desk

Saskatchewan Triathlon Association Corporation (STAC) was conceived May 5th, 1985 during the Vancouver Marathon.  It was in that race that I met Glen Morrison, the president of United Triathletes of British Columbia (UTBC).  Glen encouraged me to start an organization and gave me names of people in Saskatchewan who were interested in developing the sport of triathlon.  This 'push', and my personal feeling that information about triathlons  in our province and other provinces was not readily available, prompted me to incorporate in August 1985 under our present name. 

Donald Gallo, President

The full 1985 STAC Winter Newsletter can be accessed here:

►Page 2: Magazine Offers
Waskesiu Triathlon Swim Start, 1985
Triathlon as a sport in Saskatchewan had its beginnings in the early part of the 1980's. The Frank Dunn Triathlon in Waskesiu had its first official running in 1982. The Saskatchewan Triathlon Association Corporation incorporated in May 5th, 1985. 

The Frank Dunn Toyota Triathlon 1985:

On July 27th, 1985, Ken Michasiw won the 1985 Frank Dunn Toyota Triathlon with a time of 3 hour, 9 minutes. The race report from the day talks of chilly waters with a hilly bike course favored by the cyclists due to a tail wind. The course had a 1 km swim, a 66 km bike course with a 17 km run. Renee Verge was the women's winner with a time of 3:54 and Don Gallo won the master's division with a time of 3:50. The events for the race included a post-race dance reported to be well attended and entertained by a live band.


1986 STAC Newsletter


 This newsletter is from the spring of 1986 and is authored by Don Gallo.  Don, who is still serving on the STAC Board of Directors, was the original STAC President. 

The Newsletter contains the board of directors in 1986 and talks about the point series used for age group athletes at the time.

Click here to see a list of STAC members from 1986. 



The 1986 Frank Dunn Toyota Triathlon

Fifty-two individual triathletes lined up for the 5th annual Frank Dunn Toyota Triathlon. Very cool water temperatures threatened to cancel the swim portion of the race . Overall, it proved to be a difficult day with brisk north winds creating white caps on the water.

The swim course was altered to keep athletes close to the shoreline making for some exceptionally fast swim times. Ken Michasiw was back to defend his win from 1985 and emerged first out of the water. Barry Lutzko passed Ken and all other male athletes in the run portion of the event to finish first.

Pictured Left: Barry Lutzko, Winner of the 1986 Frank Dunn Toyota Triathlon




Edson Sauer was the story of the day though. Edson had traveled from Arizona for the race and was cheered across the finish line.

The fans and competitors of the day recognized the amazing efforts of this gentleman who was over 80 years of age at the time. Edson had previously competed and finished the Hawaii Ironman the previous year.

Pictured Left: 70+ Year Old Edson Sauer of Arizona is congratulated by Frank Dunn after the 1986 Frank Dunn Toyota Triathlon in Waskesiu






Winter Triathlon - 1986


 Additional information from the 1986 Newsletter including some great history on the growth of triathlon at the time.  Here is a sample from the 1986 newsletter on the growth of the Penticton Ironman:

"In August of 1983 the Ultra Distance Triathlon stage in Penticton hosted only 24 entries but all of them praised the effort put forth by the Penticton race organization and pledged to spread the word that there was available to Canadian north west triathletes, all could be proud of."  Article continued in this newsletter copy.





Triathlon Canada Forms:

The sport of triathlon continued to progress in Saskatchewan and across Canada. In September of 1987, at a meeting in Penticton, B.C., Triathlon Canada was formed by representatives from provincial associations across Canada. The meeting, held in conjunction with the Ironman Canada Triathlon, included the STAC president of the day, Don Gallo. Les McDonald, from British Colunmbia, became Triathlon Canada's first president with Dr. Jim Anderson, Ontario, Heather Proven, Manitoba and Don Gallo from Saskatchewan appointed the association's initial vice-president's. Dan McGregor from Alberta was Triathlon Canada's first treasurer and Loreen Barnett, BC, the secretary. All of the original board members were competing triathletes at the time.

Previously, in 1984, Les McDonald had formed the Canadian Triathlon Federation. This group became Triathlon Canada in 1987. Les served as Triathlon Canada's first president until 1996.




From an organizational point of view, the 1988 Newsletter contained disappointing news as STAC's application for status as the governing body for triathlon in the province to  Saskatchewan Sport, Culture and Recreation was rejected.

The newsletter contained an article about whether an athlete should wear a wet suit or not. Helmet use was also encouraged in the article. The newsletter also reports on a Saskatchewan-Southern California Challenge Triathlon won by Saskatchewan when no California athletes showed up for the event (surprise).the 1988 race calendar included 9 events:

By-Terium, Saskatoon
Weyburn Crocus Classic, Weyburn
Bridge City Triathlon, Saskatoon
Frank Dunn Toyota Triathlon, Waskesiu
Y-Not-Tri 88, Regina
North Battleford Provincial Park Triathlon
Duck Mountain Provincial Park Triathlon

The Bridge City Triathlon would become Spin on Spadina and continues to this day as the Craven Genki Pike Lake Triathlon.

Murry Smith left the STAC Board of Directors in 1988 after 2 and a half years of service as treasurer. The STAC Board in 1988 consisted of:
Don Gallo, Saskatoon, President
Scott MacMillan, Regina
Kevin Sutton, Yorkton
Peter Sheard, Saskatoon
Hank Heerspink, Regina
Jim Bobick, Swift Current
Dean Leach, Colfax
Greg Sylvester, Prince Albert
Joe Johnston, Saskatoon


May 1989 STAC Newsletter

May 1989:

This issue of the STAC Newsletter introduces us to the Triathlon Times.  STAC still uses this title for our current newsletters, although they are now electronic and emailed to our membership.

This excellent newsletter begins with a president's message from don Gallo and has numerous interesting articles.  Included in the newsletter is:

  • 1989 Race Calendar
  • Results of the Tartu Trek Skiathlon won by Brian Michasiw
  • A great article on Men vs. Women for endurance athletics
  • A great advertisement for the Y-Not-Tri race in Regina

Click here to see the full newsletter