SAULT STE. MARIE -- It has been a quiet summer for northern athletes that enjoy participating in summer fundraisers that include any type of physical activities. As a result of COVID-19, all fundraisers were either cancelled or organizers decided to do a virtual run and honour system.

On Sept. 27, the first major outdoor fundraising event in Sault Ste. Marie since the pandemic began is set to take place. DU283 has been given the green light from Triathlon Ontario to run a sanctioned duathlon.

"We are hosting the second fully-sanctioned duathlon in Sault Ste. Marie. It runs straight out of The Machine Shop downtown and it’s a run, bike, run event," said Sonny Spina, organizer of the event.  "You’re going to run 5K, bike 20K and then run 5K to the finish line. It’s a great event and people have a real great time doing it."

Spina says it is one of only two duathlons that Triathlon Ontario will be sanctioning this year in the province. 

It was supposed to originally be held in June, but organizers decided to postpone the event in hopes of being able to host it in the fall.

Spina said that decision was made because the race raises money for important organizations and he didn’t want to see them lose important fundraising dollars.

"Every single dollar raised through this event, through sponsorship and registration, stays local here in Sault Ste. Marie and the district of Algoma to help our kids here that are struggling with mental health and addiction issues. It’s a really important cause.” Said Spina.

For everyone's safety, the race will be staggered and less competitors were allowed to sign up this year.

Spina said the race sold out in less than two weeks and every person participating is from the Algoma region.